Mar 16, 2007

Adobe - even the best aren't always the best

Adobe, definitely the most important company in making the web graphically beautiful, does just about everything as close to perfection as can possibly be done. Their software is magnificent, and thanks to their recent merge with Macromedia, they provide us all with fantastic services, which most of us receive for free through their Flash Players and Acrobat PDF Readers.

Why Adobe does not merge with Apple and Google and completely take out Microsoft, I don't know. (I'm not really a Microsoft basher... I'm just saying the Gorilla can be taken down.)

Anyway, they are great, and today one of their email ads grabbed me in (I do subscribe to their newsletters and let them advertise to me. Like most great companies, every now and then they'll email you something that you're really happy to see, like a new product, an upgrade, or a huge coupon.)

This email has intriguing and beautiful design and ... boom! A t-shirt! Who doesn't like a cool t-shirt. So I thought quickly, "Ah, what a cool idea. Give out about 10,000 t-shirts to your rabid fans with a little online game and then let them start spreading the word for you."

So I took their presentation of Creative Suite 2.3, found the answer to qualify me for a shirt, and submitted it. (Click "Brainteaser" at the bottom of their page if you want to play too.)

I thought, "How smart! They just got me to interrupt my work, spend 10 minutes learning about their products... in a way that made me want to upgrade (BUY) as quickly as possible... and now they're even going to give me a cheap t-shirt to help them advertise on the street. So simple, so done-before, but oh so brilliant!"

And then they let me down.

Instead of a screen asking for the address to send the shirt, I got a screen that said something like "we'll notify you by April 12 whether you get a shirt..." April 12! That's almost a month away! Why couldn't you just go ahead and give it to me if my answer was correct?

Not a big deal, but I just wanted to point out that you can do something very well and then at the very end ruin the experience for your customer. I guess I'll still be happy if I get a shirt 6 weeks from now... I'll let you know if it happens.