A Secret Agent Runs Into Customer Service Problems in GS&P’s Latest for Adobe

By Erik Oster 

Adobe has made a habit of releasing new comedic spots from agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners for Advertising Week in New York and this year is no exception. “Secret Agent” is part of the agency’s ongoing “How’s Your Customer Experience?” campaign,  coming on the heels of “Billion Dollar Contract” earlier this month.

The spot, shot on location in Budapest, promotes Adobe Marketing Cloud as a hotel’s poor customer service lands one secret agent in a lot of trouble. Fresh off terminating his mark, the Bond-style character goes to check into the private penthouse he ordered with the hotel’s app, but then the hotel uses a bunch of apps, and the receptionist can’t seem to find any reservation under Hunter. He argues that the confirmation email was sent to his app, but she points out that marketing handles emails. When he pulls out the promotion he printed out from the website, she informs him that “promotions are on a different system” and things just go downhill for him from there.

Perhaps it’s just a symptom of the agency exploring similar themes for Adobe for so long, but something about the spot feels a little tired. It pales in comparison to the best of GS&P’s work for the client and feels more forced than its recent predecessor, even while hitting some of the same marks that have made similar entries memorable.

“Our latest Adobe Marketing Cloud campaign highlights how a very common problem for brands—the lack of connection between their different communication channels—can translate to a very serious problem for customers,” Alex Amado, vice presoident of experience marketing at Adobe, told Adweek


“When cross-channel marketing goes wrong, it’s bad news for businesses and consumers alike,” added GS&P creative director Will Elliott. “We wanted to show that all the bad guys in the world couldn’t defeat a secret agent, but a bad customer experience could.”

Advertising Week audiences will become well acquainted with the ad by the end of the week, as it’s set to run some 75 times before Advertising Week panels. There’s also an accompanying social media activation on site at Advertising Week. From there the spot will roll out in select markets to Comcast and DirecTV subscribers. 

Client/Company: Adobe
Title of Creative Work: “Secret Agent”
Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners
Co-Chairmen: Rich Silverstein and Jeff Goodby
Chief Creative Officer: Margaret Johnson
Creative Director: Will Elliott
Creative Director: Patrick Knowlton
ACD/Art Director: Andrew Livingston
ACD/Copywriter: Simon Bruyn
Director of Production: Tod Puckett
Senior Producer: Benton Roman
Account Services
Managing Partner: Brian McPherson
Account Director: Theo Abel
Account Manager: Chelsea Bruzzone
Assistant Account Manager: Zack Piánko
Brand and Communication Strategy
Director of Brand Strategy: Bonnie Wan
Brand Strategist: Etienne Ma, Andrew Mak
Director of Communication Strategy: Christine Chen
Communication Strategy Deputy Director: Dong Kim
Senior Communication Strategist: Victoria Barbatelli
Communication Strategist: Tara Hughes
Junior Communication Strategist: Nicole Bruno, Catherine Kim
Business Affairs
Business Affairs Manager: Heidi Kileen
Production Company
Company name: Biscuit Filmworks / Revolver
Director: Steve Rogers
Managing Director: Shawn Lacy
Executive Producer: Holly Vega
Producer: Kathy Rhodes
Head of Production: Mercedes Allen Sarria
Head of Production: Rachel Glaub
Director of Photography: Nicolas Karakatsanis
Production Designer: Tunde Csaki
Editorial Company
Company name: Arcade Edit
Managing Partner: Damian Stevens
EP: Crissy DeSimone
HOP: Kirsten Thon-Webb
Editor: Geoff Hounsell
Assistant Editor: Laura Sanford
Producer: Alexa Atkin
Company name: The Mill NYC
Colorist: Fergus McCall
Senior Colour Producer: Natalie Westerfield
Executive Producer: Leighton Greer
Senior VFX Producer: Will Unterreiner
Production Coordinator: Alex Benavente
Shoot Supervisor: Chris Mortimer
Creative Director: Tim Davies
2D Lead Artist: Tim Davies
2D Artists: Edward Black, Kelsey Napier
Company name: Woodwork Music
Sound Design
Company name: Barking Owl
Sound Designer: Michael Anastasi
Creative Director: Kelly Bayett
Producer: Ashley Benton
Company name: Barking Owl
Mixer: Morgan Johnson