Connection When We Can’t Connect
Here at Magellan, we love celebrating the exceptional work of our clients. We especially love it when a client, like Campus Sonar, shares their project story in their own, unedited words. Campus Sonar is a social listening agency offering social media conversation research, audience analysis, and actionable insights for colleges and universities.
As a startup agency specifically focused on higher ed, our connection to the community is the backbone of our existence and what drives the work we do. Most years, conferences give us the chance to physically connect with that community. We meet folks in our booth, grab coffee, get hugs and chats at presentations, have dinner, catch a karaoke show, or cheers each other over a box of donuts.
We connect. But the pandemic changed everything.
Knowing it will be a while before we’ll be able to have the same kind of physical connection again, we wanted to find a way to let our community know we appreciate them, beyond the barriers outside of our control. And we needed to be able to do that nimbly, from our homes, when the moment strikes.
There was a point a handful of months into the pandemic where various members of our team (Sonarians, as we call them) sent postcards to everyone else. All within a week, with no pre-planning. It was kind of magical, and an indicator that we were missing our connection, and reaching out. So postcards seemed like an obvious choice! Even better, add some stickers because 1) who doesn’t like stickers and 2) we hope they’ll offer an extended reminder of our thoughts and appreciation.
For some context on the design, we hired Visual Designer Gillian Drier in 2020 and she’s since been updating our visual brand. We wanted to use the postcard design as an opportunity to showcase the direction we’re moving in, and with that we want to start creating brand recognition with a strong, clean design of original illustrations that communicates who we are and what we love to do.
For the stickers, we wanted to offer a little bit of everything.
- Show who we are: A campus flag represents our main audience, colleges and universities.
- Show what we do: Social listening.
- Show what we like: Donuts. It may have started with Steve’s favorite pastime of eating and photographing donuts, but they’ve also become a part of how we connect (folks who’ve visited our booth at conferences get this). And come on, who doesn’t love donuts?
- And be fun! We wanted to create something fun and high energy people will enjoy.
It’s great hearing the details of how this project came together from idea to execution. We really love the way that Campus Sonar brought together the why, the what, and the how to create a deliciously fun and engaging sticker sheet that featured a wide variety of stickers to connect authentically with their audiences. Stickers for the win!
Humboldt State University
Using Custom Sticker Sheets to Connect with New Alumni Amidst COVID
Graduation marks an important transition for students and for their institutions. In most years, Humboldt State University would celebrate that moment with all the pomp and circumstance of a commencement ceremony. But amidst a global pandemic, a virtual graduation replaced the in-person event, meaning graduates wouldn’t receive the standard engagement pieces normally shared in-person at graduation. The challenge for Humboldt State’s Alumni & Engagement team became creating ways to connect with new graduates, sharing information about the benefits that come with their recently earned alumni status, and keeping them connected to the university.
To combat this, Humboldt State partnered with Magellan Promotions to create a custom two-sided sticker sheet that was included as part of the university’s diploma mailing. Fun, interactive and engaging stickers on one side welcomed new alumni and celebrated their achievements. The second side highlighted specific information about taking advantage of alumni benefits and how to sign up. This cost-effective combined piece captured the joy of graduation and provided an enthusiastic welcome to new alumni while still delivering important information. This integrated approach gives alumni a tangible, physical way to show off their HSU pride with stickers and a pathway to stay connected to HSU by joining Forever Humboldt Alumni.
Bryn Mawr Admissions
Sharing Pieces of Culture with Sticker Sheets
Culture matters at Bryn Mawr College. It’s both a reflection of the institution’s history and community, as well as a beacon for new and future Mawrters. So as it planned to welcome a new group of admitted students, the distinguished women’s college looked for innovative yet economical ways to illuminate facets of its culture and community authentically.
Bryn Mawr worked with Magellan Promotions to develop a thoughtful, fun, and interactive promotional piece that shares multiple elements of the community and culture, all in one place. With a custom two-sided sticker sheet, the college was able to explore several different aspects of culture and community to tell a more compelling story. On one side, Bryn Mawr assembled a collection of beautifully designed stickers—symbols, icons, logos and messages that provide a more intimate look at some traditions, ideas, and elements that unify the community. And by making all of these stickers, the college delivered to its admitted students trendy, fun, and persistent signifiers of Bryn Mawr culture to stick on the things like water bottles, laptops, phone cases and cars. The full color printed back side of the sheet shared a sincere message of welcome and congratulations, while also using the space to shed some light on the significance of the graphics shown on the front.
Now, when students choose to enroll, they will do so with a deeper understanding of Bryn Mawr’s culture, while proudly displaying their affection for the things that encapsulate a part of the Bryn Mawr community and attract them to it.
Grinnell Development and Alumni Relations
Using Sticker Postcards to Make a Reunion Save the Date Shareable and Sticky
Every year, Grinnellians plan for and look forward to connecting and reconnecting with alumni across generations at their college reunion. For 2020, The Office of Development and Alumni Relations was looking for a way to deliver a “Save the Date” mailer with important upcoming dates in a stylish, interactive and memorable way. With several months still left until reunion weekend, the college needed a solution that would stick around for a while, offering a persistent reminder of the upcoming event and encourage alumni to proudly display their commitment to attending.
Grinnell partnered with Magellan Promotions to develop a custom sticker postcard, bringing together the familiar appeal of a postcard save the date and the fun, trendy, and lasting appeal of die cut stickers. Grinnell alumni have shown how much they love stickers, regularly posting travel pictures on social media of their Grinnell-sticker-decorated laptops and water bottles. Using stickers to draw attention to the Save the Date also lets alumni display their pride in the institution, show their commitment to attending reunion, and stick the Grinnell brand on the things they use every day. The postcard also features a colorful, energetic picture background to evoke the kind of nostalgia that makes the decision to attend the reunion that much easier. Punches of Grinnell red with the sticker designs make the piece stand out in the mailbox, while the back of the postcard holds the important dates and details. It’s a great blend of pride and purpose.
The Office of Development and Alumni Relations timed a social media push to coincide with postcards hitting mailboxes to give alumni a place to share how they are using the stickers along with their plan to attend reunion in the summer.
Alumni Association, University of Georgia
“We love the keyboard stickers and they remain one of the most popular giveaway items in our office!”
– Shea Landers, Business Manager, the University of Georgia
Marketing, University of Dayton
For the spring 2019 edition of its magazine, the University Advancement team at the University of Dayton wanted to do something extra with its publication that goes to 74,000 alumni and donors. Looking for a memorable, long-lasting keepsake that would excite its wide-ranging audience without adding much cost to the already-planned mailing, the team turned to Magellan Promotions.
The Magellan team partnered with the University Dayton to deliver the perfect solution—a full page sticker sheet bound directly into the university’s alumni magazine. The solution had all the right elements. It was low cost, did not add significant weight, and proved extremely popular with a broad range of audiences. The fully-branded piece combined messaging with UD logos, iconic places, phrases, and fun stickers on a single sheet, giving alumni and donors plenty of ways to stick and share the Dayton brand just about anywhere.
The advancement team was pleased at how we were able to enhance the magazine in a way that met their goal of providing a tangible product for alumni to show off their Flyer pride!
Alumni Association, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
Check out these proud Gophers! The University of Minnesota Alumni Association gave keyboard stickers to alumni working at Target to build school pride and strengthen the relationship with the company. Since Target’s corporate office is located in Minneapolis, many of UMN’s graduates are employed with the company and have created a Target alumni network.
Jon Ruzek, Vice President of Engagement at the Alumni Association, said a post featuring proud alumni was one of his most viewed posts on LinkedIn. Thus not only do alumni love these stickers, they resonate really well when shared on social media.
Admissions, George Washington University
George Washington University put a full-size custom die-cut sticker sheet in their admitted student packs for the first time in 2018. They did an outstanding job of using the space, incorporating school colors, unique logos and campus landmarks, giving admitted students a wide range of options with which to decorate their tech, water bottles and more. They knew the design and stickers were going over really well when early admitted students, who did not receive the stickers in their admit packs because the design was not finalized at the early admission date, started contacting the office about how they could get the stickers. They were seeing them posted on social media and wanted some for themselves.
American Association of German Teachers
The American Association of German Teachers know the power of the Enter Key Keyboard Sticker. They ordered 45,000 for teachers to distribute as part of an ongoing promotional campaign. The stickers featured the phrase “Wunderbar Together – Germany and the U.S.,” creating a visible reminder of the campaign celebrating the Federal Republic of Germany’s Deutschlandjahr USA/Year of German-American Friendship.
“The stickers, along with posters, promotional postcards and Gummibären, were shipped to German educators across the US. Here is some feedback we received:
- Awesome box! I especially LOVE the keyboard stickers! Sehr clever!
- I had the students stick the enter-key sticker on all our world language Chromebooks (which we shared throughout the entire WL department!) because it was such a neat idea!
- The keyboard stickers are cute!”
– Keith Cothrun, Executive Director, American Association of German Teachers