higher ed marketing holiday

After the whirlwind that was 2020, it’s safe to say that festivities, family, and some good-old-fashioned fun are on everyone’s wish lists—and this year’s holiday videos from schools across the world most certainly delivered. 

From heartfelt messages to hilarious Christmas skits, schools have found creative ways to feature students, staff, and faculty in their videos even while social distancing. As per tradition, HEM has scoured the web to find the year’s best and brightest holiday greeting videos to share with you. Think of it as our little Christmas gift!

If you’re looking for some holiday cheer, or want a brief distraction from everything going on in the world, these videos will leave you hopeful for 2021 and beyond. Enjoy!

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1. A Heartwarming Message from East Stroudsburg University 

This year’s Holiday Video from East Stroudsburg University presents a valuable reminder that the challenges we’ve faced during the pandemic are a testament to our resilience, and a reason to remain hopeful as we enter into 2021. 

After a heartfelt introduction by interim president Kenneth Long (if you teared up watching it, you’re not alone), the video transitions into a bunch of fun clips from ESU faculty, staff, and students wishing everyone a Happy Holidays and sharing what they’re looking forward to in 2021.

Our highlights? A ESU-themed rendition of the Christmas classic “Up on a Housetop” performed by the Exercise Science Faculty and a Zoom recording of the ESU Student Activities Association all dressed up in different costumes. And of course, we can’t forget the Jingle Bells-inspired basketball routine by the ESU Women’s Basketball Seniors!

2. The University of Malta Captures a True Christmas Miracle

Everyone needs a little extra love during the holidays, and Malta’s feline population is no different. Cat food, blankets, and anything else to keep these furry friends safe during COVID-19 are in high demand. 

Fortunately, Santa is there to take up the cause—but unfortunately, during his trek to deliver cat supplies to those in need, he drops some presents along the way. To make matters worse, the Grinch is on Santa’s tail the whole journey, snatching up the gifts as they fall. 

However, luckily for Malta’s cat population, the Grinch has a soft spot for animals, and one look at a stray kitten prompts the Grinch to change his ways. Not only does the Grinch give out Santa’s cat supplies, he also makes some stops at local hospitals to deliver gifts to healthcare workers at the end of the higher education marketing video.

3. At The End of a Tough Year, Trent University Shares Its Holiday Wishes

It is easy to look back on 2020 and come up with things we’re not thankful for. However, Trent University has taken the high road and instead compiled a bunch of videos showcasing what its students and staff are looking forward to in 2021.

In a socially distant ‘pass the present’ format, each person shares their holiday wishes and sends along the present to another member of the community to hear their perspective. From a more sustainable future to a holiday season full of snow, Trent University’s holiday wishes are as broad as they are heartwarming. 

At the end of the video, the present is tossed towards the camera, presumably so we, the viewers, can reflect on what we’re looking forward to in a post-pandemic world.

4. Stirling Squirrel Spreads Christmas Cheer Across U of Stirling’s Campus

Stirling Squirrel has seemingly bounced back from his Christmas sweater blues. In U of Stirling’s last holiday video, he was overcome with jealousy over everyone’s festive outfits until a group of students knitted Stirling a sweater of his own.

This year, it seems that Stirling Squirrel is returning the favour by delivering gifts to students, staff, and healthcare workers in a bright red Santa suit.

But what could these mysterious presents possibly be? Well, you’ll need to watch the education marketing video to find out, but to give you a hint, it’s a reminder that a simple act of kindness is the gift that keeps on giving.

5. USF Muma College of Business Staff Do a Festive Video Call

Last year, the faculty of USF Muma College of Business were busy building (and eating!) a giant gingerbread house. While that wasn’t possible this year, the school still found a way to have some festive fun using a technology which has become ubiquitous for many workplaces this year: video conferencing.

Using the school’s state-of-the-art digital wall, Dean Moez Limayem hosts the mother of all Zoom calls with staff. The video uses the ‘pass-the-present’ shot common in many of this year’s higher ed holiday videos, and the clips follow staff decked out in festive clothing, baking, and hanging decorations, all interspersed with interesting facts and statistics about USF Muma and its offerings.

6. A Virtual Holiday Jam from UNC Greensboro’s Music Department

The University of North Carolina Greensboro has been a long-time staple of this list, usually courtesy of its team at Bryan School of Business and Economics. This year’s effort, however, comes from its music department.

From their homes, talented singers, rappers, guitarists, drummers, pianists, and other musicians come together to create ‘We Must Hope’, an original composition from students. Combining soul, jazz, and hip hop, the song conveys a message of perseverance during a challenging time, while also showcasing the tremendous wealth of talent the school has in its ranks.

7. The University of Toronto Mississauga Go for an Animated Option

At a time when filming is difficult, some schools have turned to animation as a solution when creating higher ed marketing holiday videos. One of the best this year is this simple but effective effort from the University of Toronto Mississauga.

This adorable short features some friendly woodland creatures putting up some decorations outside the University’s Oscar Peterson Hall, and creating a Chaucer-reading snowman.

8. UNC Asheville Reflect on the Positives of 2020

When reflecting on the past year, it’s important to not let this year’s challenges (notably a global pandemic) overshadow the positive moments and memories interspersed throughout it. 

This year’s holiday video from The University of North Carolina Asheville showcases what its students achieved despite the challenging circumstances. The University continued to maintain academic excellence and celebrate its graduates while students embraced online learning, stayed active, and kept the campus safe.

The video also captures some of the University’s initiatives to engage in democracy and rally against racism, showing that, despite requirements to stay apart physically, the community grew together through shared values.

9. The University of Mount Union Cooks Up a Special Holiday Recipe

In last week’s blog, we detailed the ingredients to perfect social media ad creative, but the University of Mount Union had a different recipe in mind for their holiday video, where mascot MUcaw cooks up some holiday cookies.

The twist, of course, is that the recipe isn’t for cookies, but for the ideal Mount Union student. With 3 cups of Raider pride, half a cup of integrity, 8 tablespoons of confidence, a dose of passion and half a teaspoon of tenacity, a Purple Raider is born.

After everything we’ve been through in 2020, this year’s holiday videos have provided us with entertainment, inspiration, and most of all, a reminder that everything can only get better from here on out. 

As always, there were many other schools that created similarly stellar holiday videos. If there was a way to include them all without writing a book, we would, but you can always explore other holiday greeting videos on YouTube.

From our team at Higher Education Marketing, we wish you happiness and good health this holiday season, and all the best for 2021!

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