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Anniversary Campaign: #CMUfiiive


The 2018-2019 academic year marked the fifth anniversary of the Integrated Innovation Institute (iii) at Carnegie Mellon University. As the head of iii’s content strategy and marketing, I seized this opportunity to run a year-long multichannel campaign, celebrating the Institute’s milestones and giving a platform to promote the impact of integrated innovation on industry and society.

For the year-long campaign, I identified four main goals: (1) Raise awareness of the impact and history of integrated innovation, (2) Celebrate the student experience, (3) engage and educate alumni about iii’s newly-launched brand, and (4) increase iii’s presence with key university partners. The target audiences for the campaign included alumni, industry partners, and the Carnegie Mellon community (prospective and current students, faculty, staff, campus partners).

Defining the Theme: Future Makers

The mission of the Integrated Innovation Institute is to cross-train students in engineering, business, and design in order to solve real-word problems. Its origins in innovation education began in 1986 and has since evolved into three master’s degrees, partnerships with leading companies, and the launch of several cutting-edge products and services into the marketplace.

We created the theme Future Makers, to emphasize iii’s focus on what’s next. To support the campaign, I partnered with a local design agency to create unique anniversary graphics, for online, print, and merchandise.

Crafting a Messaging Framework

I developed the following messaging framework to serve as the foundation of the campaign’s content strategy :

At the Integrated Innovation Institute, we don’t only anticipate the future; we make it. Our community of innovators -- students, faculty, alumni, and industry partners -- is made up of passionate doers, developers, creators, builders, innovators, and disruptors.

We succeed at shaping the future by breaking down the silos that impede innovation. The future is integrated and so are our academics, teams, and programs. By uniting the disciplines of engineering, design, and business, we’re able to solve real problems and shape the future: launching the next generation of products and services to create a more meaningful future for all.

As we celebrate our five year anniversary, we pay homage to Carnegie Mellon’s extensive history of designing the future. The Institute’s progress would not be possible if not for the pioneers and visionaries of cross-disciplinary education at CMU that fostered a collaborative culture at the nexus of humanity and technology.

Never one to ‘look back’ for too long, we will also celebrate this year by looking forward. In this milestone year, we will explore the future of integrated innovation and celebrate our community of passionate innovators ready to make what’s next.

Campaign Features

The campaign features were released on the website, social, and at events, accompanied with the hashtag #CMUfiiive to track campaign performance and generate buzz about the anniversary.

  • The “Making of”. Features and homages to how the iii programs came to be (“Origin Stories”).

  • Maker Milestones. Documenting Carnegie Mellon’s and iii’s achievements in the field of integrated innovation. The main outcome was to develop a comprehensive timeline of iii’s history, to be able to share and use for future promotion.

  • Celebrating Alumni. Promoting the success of graduates through specialty features.

  • Making What’s Next. Profiles of our faculty and students, prompting them to envision their next five years and to explain their role in making the future.

  • Events. Themed events throughout the year for students, alumni, and partners.

  • Swag. Specialty merchandise to share during events and other activities throughout the year.

The campaign is still ongoing. To catch the action, visit the Integrated Innovation Institute’s Anniversary page,