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Adobe Sneaks 2017: My Rating for Each Sneak

For the past six years at Adobe Summit one of the highlight sessions is called Adobe Sneaks. In this session, Adobe employees display their ideas on future projects and innovations for Adobe customers, potential customers and partners. Not all of the innovations displayed at Sneaks make it into actual products, but in the past, most sneaks have been deployed in one form or another.Image for Adobe Sneaks
At this year’s Sneaks, Kate McKinnon from Saturday Night Live helped host the event, and she was entertaining as always. I thought I would rate each sneak on the level of innovation and whether I thought it was a good idea for a future product. These are only my opinions, but let’s see what I think of each Sneak. Below are some of the Sneaks with a short description from Adobe’s press release. Following each is my evaluation based on the live demos.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

  • VR advertising: This project combines technology across Marketing Cloud and Creative Cloud to enable real-time advertising in a VR environment. Picture an individual wearing a VR headset, placed in the middle of New York’s Times Square. As she looks around, billboards are replaced in real-time. 
    • My Evaluation: The ability to place ads on virtual buildings, cars, etc is pretty cool. In addition to static content, Kevin placed a video ad on bulletin board, so including a video into the virtual experience was also pretty cool. Kevin also showed how AEM would be used to supply the content to the VR screen. Overall this sneak was very cool, even if VR is still in its infancy as a technology.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

  • Intelligent website personalization: This project taps into Adobe Sensei’s AI technology to make intuitive recommendations about both layout and content. A travel website, for example, could input retirees as its target audience. 
    • My Evaluation: The presenter selected several content items and images, selected the desired success metrics, and Adobe Sensei creates a great experience based on the content.  Sensei also used the same content and images but different metrics to completely change the experience. It even created multiple variations at one time. This was a pretty cool application because so many people don’t really know how to layout pages or what content could be placed where to drive specific metrics.
  • Geo-based audience targeting: This project will allow brands with a physical presence to tap into location technologies and engage consumers on the move with relevant content and promotions. Using a core service in Adobe Marketing Cloud, a fast food chain could identify groups of opted-in users that display purchase intent through engagement with the brand’s mobile app. 
    • My Evaluation: This app showed how AI could recommend geo-fences and then set them up in the marketing cloud. Overall it was a good idea and executed well as a demo.

The Internet of Things

  • Next generation voice assistant: Interactions with interfaces such as Amazon Alexa are currently transactional and anonymous, where users receive information on general topics such as movie show times or playlists. This project takes core Adobe Experience Cloud technologies and Amazon’s open APIs to create a more intelligent and personalized assistant. For example, consumers can ask Alexa for their reward status for a hotel chain or airline. Alexa can then use their customer profile data and preferences to recommend promotions or activities that take advantage of those reward points/miles in a transparent and privacy conscious manner.
    • My Evaluation: I blogged about using Alexa and AEM together back in January. I’m sure Adobe didn’t follow my lead in this, but you never know.  Mark showed how Alexa could be set up to make marketing offers based on data stored in our profile. The application also showed how it could enable multi-channel interactions by pushing offers to the phone. Mark also showed how Alexa could be used by internal teams to get data out of Marketing Cloud.  Overall the idea here was pretty good and I’d like to see more voice enabled applications.

At the end, the first sneak – VR Advertising – was the winner with the Summit audience.

Descriptions from

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Mark Polly

Mark Polly is Perficient's Chief Strategist for Customer Experience Platforms. He works to create great customer, partner, and employee experiences. Mark specializes in web content management, portal, search, CRM, marketing automation, customer service, collaboration, social networks, and more.

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