In 1984, a movie ticket cost $2.50, Prince's Purple Rain
was the number one album on the Billboard charts, and Apple, a relatively new computer company, was releasing its first affordable, personal computer, the Macintosh. The past 25 years have seen many changes, but some things have stayed the same.
Creative Street Media Group, an Indianapolis-based, one-stop media solutions company may have expanded and garnered a clientele list that includes Clarion Health and the NCAA, but their values and demand for innovation and creativity have not changed in its 25-year run. Their original purpose remains: provide clients with the best ideas and the best people to carry out those ideas.
Steve Katzenberger and Dave Smith, then coworkers at Kartes Video Communications, another Indianapolis production company, decided to expand their own vision by creating a new company that would focus on customer needs and relationships and lead the way in technology and technique for practical media solutions.
"We started out as a folding table and chair business," Katzenberger said. During Creative Street's beginnings, Katzenberger and Smith traveled to countless companies within a 200-mile radius of Indianapolis pitching their company's services. Much like Prince's popularity, this too has changed. The Creative Street Media Group has more than 100 big-name clients.
During the last quarter century, Creative Street Media, which specializes in advertising, marketing, training and education, has seen three companies add to its family including Webize Interactive Media, an interactive media and Internet design firm, Edit Pointe, a digital audio and video post production facility, and Creative Street Entertainment, a non-fiction entertainment cable and broadcast entertainment production company. These four companies now comprise the Creative Street Media Group.
Creative Street Media Group's four sub-companies now reside in four Washington St. houses and thousands of square feet of downtown office and production space. These spaces house custom-built sound equipment, editing rooms and production studios. When visiting Creative Street's locations, though, it's hard to miss the countless awards that line the mantelpieces, inlaid shelving, desks and trophy stands. Perhaps the most notable is an Emmy award Creative Street received for their documentary Vietnam Nurses with Dana Delany
, a special that originally aired on the Women's Entertainment television (WEtv) featuring the Desperate Housewives
star. Creative Street has kept its Emmy company by receiving awards from the American Advertising Federation, Parents' Choice Awards and the American Film and Video Association Festival. Their work has been seen on the Military Channel, Animal Planet, TLC, HBO, the History Channel and the Discovery Channel.
Their work also benefits local clients. Creative Street works with notable Indianapolis companies including Sallie Mae, Eli Lilly, Clarion Health Partners, the Indianapolis Colts, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and dozens of other local organizations. In addition to their national and local client base, Creative Street works with a number of non-profit organizations. These clients, Katzenberger said, need long-term solutions as well as current projects completed. The company's goal, however, is to create a media package that will draw in potential supporters and sponsors.
"It's better to give them a fishing pole and teach them to fish rather than just giving them a fish," Katzenberger said.
They have the space, technology and clients, but these things, Katzenberger suggests, are not what makes the company successful.
"It's the people," Katzenberger said. "The people are what make this place so great. The equipment doesn't do anything. My inventory goes home every night."
Katzenberger and Smith agree that teamwork is essential to the company's progress. To foster this team spirit, employees have monthly "show and tell" meetings. Each month, groups present their current projects to the entire staff to showcase their latest projects and receive feedback. After these presentations, Katzenberger said, the whole group moves over to the pub next door MacNiven's. This restaurant is a "Cheers" bar of sorts to the staff who joke that it is their "company cafeteria." Katzenberger said that after work, one could always find a group of Creative Street employees unwinding from the day at the downtown eatery.
Creative Street has changed in the 25-year history of the company. What made them the company they are today, though, remains.
"Our expectation was we would be successful if we did two things: 1. Delight our customers by providing better solutions to their communication's needs than the competition and 2. Surround ourselves with talented people that were as dedicated to # 1 as we were. Based on this, we are achieving our expectations."
Creative Street has seen some of America's greatest celebrities come through their doors. Indianapolis could be star-struck knowing that these people have worked only miles from their own offices or homes. A few big names include:
Tennis legend Arthur Ashe
NFL Superstar Peyton Manning
Oscar-winner Meryl Streep
Moses himself Charlton Heston
Television icon Dick Van Dyke
Desperate Housewife Dana Delaney
Popular NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne
Former CBS correspondent Mike Wallace
The man with the mustache Tom Selleck
Soccer star Mia Hamm
Hall of Fame basketball coach Pat Riley
Former supermodel Lauren Hutton
The most trusted man in America Walter Cronkite
1984-Creative Street founded by Steve Katzenberger and Dave Smith
1988 How To Study video named "How-To-Video" of the year by Billboard Magazine and The American Film Institute
1989- Living with High Blood Pressure, hosted by Arthur Ashe, reaches national status, and the New York Daily News calls it "the best health video on the market"
1990- Mother Nature's Tales of Discovery series airs on the Discovery Channel
1991 Wins Best Show in the Healthcare Advertising Awards for The Trauma Institute, a documentary produced for Humana
1994- Wins Quality Excellence Award as top supplier (only one given) for Allstate Insurance Sales Work for National Meetings
1996 Parent Choice Award to Little Things video series produced for World Book Encyclopedia; also, Mental Health Association in Indiana makes Creative Street recipient of its annual Irsay Award
1997-StreetWise Promotions LLC founded; Roaring Through the Century: The History of the Indianapolis 500airs on History Channel
1998- Edit Pointe, video/audio post-production company is founded; Creative Street Entertainment founded; International Game Warden Magazine bought
1999-Wildlife Journal Magazine is formed with Emmis Publishing; Webize, an interactive Web site design firm joins the Creative Street family; Award winning 30x30 series produced for HBO Family
2000- Game Warden Wildlife Journal is nationally syndicated on broadcast television to 85% of the country, 19 of the top 20 TV markets carry the series
2003 Wildlife Journal starts a 3-year run on cable network, Animal Planet
2005- Wins Silver Muse Award for Educational/Interpretive - Science for interactive development of The Children's Museum's "Dinosphere," winning over entries from the California Science Center and the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry; Wins CINE Golden Eagle for "Indianapolis Zoo: Dolphin Adventure Videos"
2006- Starts work for The National Federation of State High School Associations to build interscholastic Coach Education Web site, NFHSlearn.com
2007- Vietnam Nurses with Dana Delaney documentary wins national Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in a craft: Editing, and is only one of four shows nominated for Best Historical Programming. Also wins Grand Award at New York Festivals
2008- BioWorksU, an interactive Web site produced for Indianapolis Private Industry Council, named an official honoree of the Webby Awards, the leading international honor in Web site production; Wins nine awards for video and web work for NCAA Division II Community Engagement and Game Environment Web sites; Plus, Silver Communicator Award of Distinction in Interactive Media for Firestone Specialty Products
2009- Creative Street wins Interactive Media Awards for Outstanding Achievements in design, implementation and development for NCAA's 2008 "Final Four" web sites; Creative Street celebrates its 25th anniversary