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How Did We Get Here – 10 Years of 4O1! Creative

posted by: Meggan Werkheiser on April 1, 2015

How Did We Get Here – 10 Years of 4O1! Creative

posted by: Meggan Werkheiser on April 1, 2015

Weidenhammer Creative (W!), formerly 4O1! Creative, is a growing creative marketing agency with a wide service offering including branding, print, interactive, photography, video, illustration, content marketing and marketing strategy. Our origins as 4O1! Creative have helped to shape who we are today and will continue to be part of our DNA moving forward. We’re still a team comprised of inspired individuals and a unique, collaborative culture. More so than ever before, we believe your next project will be our next masterpiece.

2005

4O1! Creative was established in 2005 by original founders Curtis Johnson and Brian Wcislo. The name “4O1! Creative” was inspired by crazy nights with college roommates that included homemade taco dinners, card games and a few rounds of “if we had a film production company, the name would be…” All of this brainstorming took place in the apartment Curtis and Brian shared – Apartment 401. The time they spent in Apt. 401 is remembered fondly as it represents the inception of a solid friendship between roommates turned successful business partners.

Flash forward to a few years later when they were living on opposite sides of the country, the duo dreamt up a specific vision for their business. This dream led to one of them packing their bags and moving to Pennsylvania so they could plant their roots and build a business in Lehigh Valley.

Originally, 4O1! Creative was a brand focused on motion graphics and video editing. Their first East coast gig was a wedding video (never again!) but they had so much more in store for 4O1!. Curtis’s goal was to have a flexible mindset and to have the ability to adapt to change, especially since the company was still so young. It was important to them that they remain current, without becoming a too reactionary to trends.

2007

Although 4O1! Creative was experiencing steady growth for the last two years, it was time for them to raise local awareness throughout the Lehigh Valley. About 85% of their clients were still out of state. This is when 4O1! Day was born! The very first 4O1! Day was held at Melt in Bethlehem Pa., where guests were entertained in true 4O1-fashion, including body-painted models in 4O1! inspired art, which people still talk about today!

This was also the year 4O1! Creative entered an original design into a “Call of Duty 4” design contest AND WON with an overwhelming 84.1% of voters choosing 4O1!’s design in their top four picks. The design could be downloaded as a free theme in the XBOX Live Marketplace filed under Call of Duty 4!

2008

Up until this point, Curtis and Brian worked with a few dedicated contractors and strategic partners to build the business. It was at this time they offered to bring Devon Beck on board as a developer and business partner. Devon accepted and became heavily involved as an impacting member of the team.

4O1! Creative started working with YWCA USA in 2007 to help them launch a “Week Without Violence” microsite. This highly-interactive website built completely in Flash and was driven by easily updatable XML. The microsite featured podcasts, interactive quizzes, fact sheets and downloadable resources for consumers. This site was honored by CommArts for “Site of the Day” and won a “Best In Show” ADDY Award!

The Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal (EPBJ) also honored Curtis with the “Top 20 Under 40” Award.

2009

During this time, Curtis, Brian, Devon and a few awesome contractors worked crouched within a one-room 4O1 space in Curtis’s home. Taking the advice of Business Coach, Michelle Landis, they knew it was time to find an office. With the assistance of Tom Skeans of Imperial Realty, 4O1! found a new home in no time!

4O1! Creative also upped their social media game to Facebook and said goodbye to their MySpace page.

In 2009, the team won three Silver ADDY awards and one Gold ADDY! They took home the Silver for the Althouse, Jaffe & Associates website, LCCC online advertising program and their very own self-promotion holiday card. The Gold ADDY came from their new B2B flash-based website, www.401creative.com! This would be their last project in flash. From here on 4O1! was predominately a WordPress CMS shop.

2010

4O1! Creative won a gold and a silver ADDY award. Both in the Interactive Media category, the team took home a Gold ADDY for Fig Lancaster and a Silver ADDY for Lehigh Valley Style.

The team also joined the world of Twitter. #4O1TweetsNow

2011

4O1! Creative was excited to take home a Gold and Best In Show ADDY Award for their work on Discover Lehigh Valley’s website.

2012

Weidenhammer Systems Corporation, a former client of 4O1! Creative, approached Curtis and Brian regarding an acquisition opportunity. This was the start to a very exciting merger and rebranding as Weidenhammer Creative!

2013

The 4O1! team navigated the Weidenhammer/4O1! Creative acquisition with John Weidenhammer, the President of Weidenhammer Systems Corp. John came to his first 4O1! Day to celebrate and support the new team!

2014

Weidenhammer Systems Corp. names Curtis Johnson Vice President of the Creative Division.

Additionally, the team took home several ADDY awards! They won Silver ADDYs for LM Stylebar (fashion photography category), Artsquest “Dinner and a Show” campaign, 4O1 Creative website, and the Discover Lehigh Valley website. They also won a Gold ADDY for “Built like a Mack Truck” online kiosk campaign and the ultimate Best in Show ADDY Award for ASCD, an annual report microsite.

2015

4O1! Creative rebrands as Weidenhammer Creative, marking the company’s evolution into a full-service marketing agency with expanded service offerings. 4O1! Creative also celebrates 10 exciting years in business with amazing clients. On the last day as 4O1! Creative the team included: Curtis Johnson, Brian Wcislo, Devon Beck, Chris Koelle, Lee Gustin, Ryan Lynn, Adam Crooker, Jeremy Jones, Liesel Miskits, and Jason Velazquez.

Special Thanks

We would not have made it ten years without the support of our great employees, interns, contractors, clients, vendors, and families.

The following is an ongoing list of acknowledgements for those whom we’d like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to (in no particular order): the Weavers, the Sandbergs, the Becks, the Wcislos, Frank and the team at CVP (our first client), Amanda and Crump Juice, Flick, Jay JF, Jess JO, Justin JS, J Taylor JT, Kern, Alli-Kat, Sammy B, Chris V, Tyson!, Matt, T STORM, Bit, Rae, Emily, Meggan, Tommy Skeans and the Diebert, Serfass Construction, Shufflebox, EBC, FireRock, Marcus, Bart, Discover Lehigh Valley (Mike, Kim, Ryan, Jason, Jenny and more), Mike and Kristine (ARE YOU READY!?!?), LMN (Spark), SWB&R, Skirmish (Nikki, Sky and more), Straight Arrow (Beth, Jess, Devon and more), AMBK and Jaindl Enterprises (Mark, Mary, Sandy, Bob and more), Zac Jaindl, Franklin Hill Vineyards, York Wallcoverings, Moravian Hall Square (Monica, Karen, Mike and more), Tina and MyHR, Michelle Landis, Sally Handlon, LVEDC (Matt, Keller, and more), John Weidenhammer and all the great folks at Weidenhammer! Last (but certainly not least) are the spouses of 4O1! – Tara, Lauren, Brooke, Michelle, Shannon, Erica, Jackie, and Joe!

We know that we’re missing many more. Thank you all again from the bottoms of our hearts!

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