Fundraising campaign wins technology and creativity award

School mascot starred in 'Day in the Life of Ollie the Brandeis Student'

Brandeis' Office of Development and Alumni Relations has been honored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for the recent Support Our Students viral marketing campaign.

The university received a Silver Award in the 2010 CASE Circle of Excellence Awards Program in the category of Technology Applications and Creative Use of New Media. CASE awards recognize outstanding work in the areas of fundraising, alumni relations, communications, and marketing. A total of 2,700 entries were submitted in this year’s contest.

The two-part Brandeis fundraising initiative employed social media and new online technology to engage alumni and empower them to solicit their fellow graduates.

The first segment of the campaign relied on a brief, light-hearted video featuring the school mascot, Ollie the Owl, in "A Day in the Life of Ollie the Brandeis Student”. The video featured familiar campus individuals and places as Ollie reluctantly rolls out of bed, attends a lecture, gobbles down a pizza, receives a parking ticket, and falls asleep in the library.

The Campaign’s second segment, the Alumni Video Challenge, asked alumni to submit videos telling fellow alumni about their unique Brandeis story. Through words, images, humor, and music, the videos were designed to remind alumni of their days as Brandeis students. Winners were selected in three categories: best overall video (selected by alumni in the entertainment/marketing world); most popular (based on views); and best fundraisers (based on money raised and number of donors).

Princeton University captured the Gold Award and Children’s Hospital of Boston earned the Bronze Award.

“This award speaks to our department’s willingness to embrace new technology and social media to engage alumni and friends,” said Nancy Winship, P ’10, P ’12, senior vice president of institutional advancement. “While viral marketing will never replace face-to-face visits, direct mail, and phone solicitation, it has become a valuable part of our fundraising enterprise, particularly concerning engagement with our younger alumni.”

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