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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

Dremel Maker in Residence Program

Entered in Integrated Campaign


Makers have long been a part of the Dremel brand's history. Creators, remodelers, crafters, tinkerers, inventors—those who make are an essential part of the brand heritage and evolution. For nearly 90 years, Dremel has played an integral role in the worlds of art and ingenuity by putting its tools in the hands of brilliant Makers. The next step? Serve as a social catalyst for the Maker movement. It's no secret that people and projects are far more interesting than products. It's stories that break through. Dremel wanted to connect with Makers on a more personal level, to dig deeper into their artistic process while pulling them under the brand's wing to promote and foster fellow Makers' creative goals. Dremel sought to create a program that identified Makers' motivations and unique perspectives, a program that fostered self-expression and brought core users inside the brand. In other words, Dremel was ready to become the student—to learn from these talented individuals, to help cultivate their craft and to help share their talent with the world. Most importantly, Dremel was ready to expand its project portfolio by seeing what the "best of the best" could do with Dremel products.

Strategy and Execution

With the targeted goal in mind, Dremel created the Maker in Residence program: a social-media-driven contest to find Makers who embody the passion, enthusiasm and expertise of do-it-yourself projects. Makers who felt they met the criteria were invited to apply on Dremel's Facebook page for a chance to win coveted Dremel tools as well as a unique opportunity to collaborate directly with the Dremel brand. The prize pack of tools was valued at $5,000 and included the Dremel 3D Idea Builder™ (our 3D printer) and several Dremel rotary tools.

The application process for the program was open from July 23–August 25, 2015. Interested applicants visited a sub-page of the Dremel brand's Facebook page and entered several form fields to describe their experience as a Maker, what making means to them and why they enjoy working with Dremel tools. Applicants were also asked to submit photo examples of their work.

During the application period, the Dremel team implemented a two-pronged promotion approach through social media posting and traditional media outreach. On social media, we created teaser posts across Dremel's Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts linking to the application site and posted inspirational photo galleries for entrants. We also created a call-to-action video that featured Makers whom the Dremel brand interviewed at the Bay Area Maker Faire earlier that year. That video footage included testimonials addressing the question "Why do you make?" Regarding traditional media, we partnered with bloggers and influencers to create promotional posts on their own sites to spread the word and drive more applications. We also conducted local media relations in each winner's hometown.

After the application period ended, an internal panel at Dremel considered each applicant through a rigorous judging process. Each entry was reviewed for essay uniqueness, demonstrated passion/expertise and advocacy of communication. The panel then decided upon five winners. The first cycle of Dremel Maker in Residence program winners were honored as Chief Makers, a title unique to these new residents, and were officially announced during a press conference at the World Maker Faire in New York on September 26, 2015. Two of the Chief Makers joined Dremel for the press conference to receive recognition and accept their induction into the program. Details of the conference were posted on Dremel's social media accounts and distributed via wire release to announce the winners to the general media.

Following the announcement, Dremel fulfilled the prize packages for the winners and provided them with contracts to formally begin their residency within the Dremel brand. The contracts detailed that they were to provide monthly project tutorials, connect the Dremel brand with other Makers in their network and participate in a handful of meetings for product development/feedback. We then used the content our Makers in Residence provided in social postings and traditional media outreach.


The Dremel Maker in Residence program generated more than 14 million combined impressions. Media outlets including Make Magazine,, This Week in Tech and promoted the program and covered the announcement of the winners. Program content on Dremel social media pages earned more than 10 thousand likes with a total reach of 1.2 million unique users. These posts generated an engagement rate of 11 percent. Nearly 250 Makers from across the country applied—impressive, given the level of commitment required to enter.

Beyond statistical results, the Dremel brand now has connections with five highly qualified Makers who continue to serve as sources of information and inspiration for the Dremel brand and fellow Makers. In addition to providing helpful perspective that is guiding future product development, the winners have been actively engaged with the Dremel brand on social media. Chief Makers have been eager to share their tips and tricks with others, boast about their residency and expand the Dremel project portfolio.


Video for Dremel Maker in Residence Program

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Cramer-Krasselt, Dremel

Entry Credits