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Cornell’s Dog Days of Summer

Challenge

The Cornell University Alumni Association sought an engaging way to connect with its vast alumni network, aiming to foster a sense of community over the summer. Recognizing the importance of pets to many of their alumni, they aimed to create a fun and engaging campaign that would resonate widely and encourage active participation.

Pets and Alumni Engagement

Solutions

Cornell’s creative response was the “Dog Days of Summer” campaign, which ran from July 3 – August 11. Alumni were encouraged to post a photo of their furry friend either wearing Cornell gear or hanging out on campus. To elevate the experience and reward participation, Cornell collaborated with Magellan Promotions to develop a special “Dog Days of Summer” pack. This pack included carefully selected, pet-friendly items such as a cooling pet bandana, toy tennis ball, collapsible pet bowl and a tick remover card, all aimed at showing love to alumni’s furry friends. The packs were spearheaded by Magellan Senior Account Manager, Cassi Dreyer, ensuring each item reflected the campaign’s spirit and the university’s values. Magellan handled the logistics, stored all the merch and when the campaign was finished, kitted and mailed out the packs to each winner.

Pets and Alumni Engagement

Outcome & Feedback

The campaign was a tremendous success, marked by widespread alumni engagement and enthusiastic participation. Weekly, ten winners were chosen to have their pets featured on Cornell’s Facebook page and receive the exclusive “Dog Days of Summer” pack. The feedback from recipients was overwhelmingly positive, with many expressing their appreciation for the quality and thoughtfulness of the items. Patrick Hazlitt, Integrated Marketing and Community Manager at Cornell University, noted “The Dog Days of Summer Giveaway was a HUGE hit with our followers. This giveaway generated record engagement for our pages, and we received countless thank-yous. Winners were blown away by the quality of the items and their pups loved them too!”  Katie Conolly, Assistant Director of Integrated Marketing and Lead of Direct Mail at Cornell University, lauded the campaign’s execution and impact – “I just wanted to let you know how AMAZING the Dog Days swag is! We are thrilled! Many thanks for all the hard work!”. 

Through this campaign, Cornell not only celebrated the special role pets play in their alumni’s lives but also strengthened the connection between the university and its alumni, demonstrating the powerful role of thoughtful branded merch in community engagement and branding initiatives.

Pets and Alumni Engagement

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We are happy to mail using a client’s USPS non-profit number. Here are a few best practices for this to go smoothly. Let our team know up front on the project so we can make sure to get the information we need right away. 

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The information we need to in order to use a client’s nonprofit number includes the following:

Formatting the Mailing List

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