Adobe digs up Bob Ross’ grave to promote Photoshop on the iPad Pro


Adobe has resurrected Bob Ross to promote Photoshop Sketch on the iPad Pro.
Adobe has resurrected Bob Ross to promote Photoshop Sketch on the iPad Pro.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Remember that iPad Pro tribute to departed public television legend Bob Ross that we posted back in December? We liked it, and it looks like Adobe did too… which is why they decided to rip-off the idea wholesale to promote Adobe Photoshop Sketch.

Just like the last video, Adobe is using the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil to ape the calm, almost beatific demeanor of Bob Ross. Unlike the last video, though, Adobe’s actually teamed up with the Bob Ross estate to do it. They didn’t manage to resurrect Bob Ross from the dead, though: instead, they used make-up to transform artist Chad Cameron into a passable simulacrum of Bob Ross himself.

Although it could seem tasteless, Adobe swears that no disrespect is meant to Mr. Ross. Even the media director of Bob Ross Inc., which oversees Bob Ross’s trademarks, argues that this treatment is meant to respectful.

“Bob’s wish was to inspire as many as people as possible to be creative and to share it with others,” Joan Kowalski, Bob Ross, Inc.’s Media Director told Slashgear. “Adobe’s Joy of Sketching series is wonderful and reminds us that a company as big as Adobe shares in that hope. We were pleased to be a part of The Joy of Sketching. Adobe paid attention to the details to make sure it was not a parody but homage to Bob. For example, they asked us about the brand of clothes he wore and the types of easels he used. It showed us they really cared. We miss our friend very much. It was lovely to see the likeness of him once again.”

Never seen Bob Ross before? Where have you been? I’ll let my colleague Evan Killham describe the preternatual calmness with which Bob Ross went about his paints:

The Joy of Painting, which inspired the video, ran on PBS for 403 episodes between 1983 and 1994. Host Bob Ross became famous for his inhumanly calm demeanor, big hair, and ability to paint an entire mountain in like 5 minutes. Whether you painted along at home or not, The Joy of Painting is one of the most relaxing things ever conceived by humankind, and it has a legion of wholly unironic fans.

So what do you think? Is it disrespectful of Adobe to use Bob Ross to shill their products? Or is this something Mr. Ross would have been cool with? Let us know in the comments.

  • os2tomac

    I preferred the old German(?) guy that added “a lizzen crimson” to his colors. Wish I knew his name.

    • os2tomac

      I found it… Wiliam Alexander. He didn’t create “happy trees”, he added “almighty trees”!