GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT ENTERTAINMENT
WAM!NET, a provider of digital content hosting and distribution solutions, had gained a strong foothold in the print advertising and publishing markets. It had made substantial investments in a nationwide fiber-optic cable infrastructure that allowed customers to store and share large digital files with other resources around the country so they could produce ads, magazines, books, and other printed media in dramatically faster timeframes. WAM!NET received major funding from MCI Worldcom due to the tremendous market opportunity afforded by the entertainment and broadcast industries. These industries needed a fast, low-cost means to send and store huge "rich media" files, and their only alternative were slow landlines, overnight couriers, or very expensive satellite access. The cost of building the WAM!NET infrastructure was high, but these two new markets would provide critical revenue to fund the continued building of the infrastructure.
WAM!NET created a special division, separate from its headquarters in Minnesota, which was dedicated to the broadcast and entertainment markets. Since these markets are fiercely competitive, WAM!NET wanted this division to have a mission, look and feel, and personality that would identify it as an entertainment company. It set up WAM!NET Entertainment almost as a separate company, opening special offices in California, and it hired experts with strong backgrounds in broadcast and entertainment.
In many respects, WAM!NET Entertainment was similar to a start-up company, and Connelly Communications needed to develop the corporate identity, collateral, Web site, training materials, public relations, and advertising in an accelerated timeframe. This was essential since the new division had to become fully operationalcomplete with new products and servicesin just a few months.
The marketing communications challenge was to create all of the vital building blocks of this new company concurrently. The company had to look "real" and legitimate before the sales force could approach prospective customers and important partners. The communications plan had to not only include long-term strategies, but it had to address the critical short-term deliverables of a complete corporate identity system of business cards and letterhead, create a new Web site, and produce the first overview brochure.
All of the communications vehicles had to reflect the energy and personality of WAM!NET Entertainment, and address the unique needs of the broadcast and entertainment industries. The personality and look of the materials needed to be creative, lively, and visually appealing while reflecting a deep knowledge and expertise in those industries. All printed and Web copy had to use the industry vernacular, while demonstrating how the WAM!NET solution provides the latest technology to dramatically cut time, improve productivity, and reduce the staggering costs in broadcast and entertainment productions. Despite incredible workloads and time pressures, the corporate identity, Web site, and overview brochure were completed in time for the official launch date of the site.