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education marketing

Video holiday greetings from schools have become fairly common over the past number of years, to the point that it has almost become a seasonal tradition in itself. 2016 was no different, with a range of institutions from all around the world finding all sorts of heartfelt, original, and humorous ways to send their best wishes to the wider school community.

Not only do these videos serve as a great way to thank students, staff, and alumni for their contribution to your school, they are also a valuable content marketing tool, giving you the chance to showcase the personality of your institution and strengthen your unique brand identity among both current and prospective students and their peers and family members.

This year has already seen a number of great holiday videos. Here’s just a few of the best we’ve seen so far.

1. Helsinki Metropolia UAS Makes the Most of Student Animation Talent

Many schools use their holiday greetings as a chance to showcase the creativity and talent of their students, often featuring the work of student musicians, artists, and filmmakers. This year, the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences commissioned their graphic design students to compose a series of animated shorts to capture the spirit of the season.

This video, Squirrels Winter by Christian Franzen, is one of the best.

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2. Durham College Finds Out What The Holidays Mean to Students

Another way to get your students involved in your holiday video is to take to the campus to gather soundbites and seasonal greetings from the wider school community. This video from Durham College features students, faculty, and other staff members each talking about what the holidays mean to them.

With a great mix of humorous and thoughtful answers, it strikes just the right note, and really gives the viewer a sense of the atmosphere on campus.

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3. Fanshawe College Uses Their Holiday Video to Promote Giving Back to The Community

For many, the holidays are a time to remember those less fortunate and give something back to society. Fanshawe College’s holiday video reflects that sentiment perfectly, with footage of over 700 of the school’s staff and faculty holding a charity food drive, which collected almost 3,000 pounds of food to donate to the local food bank.

Rather than simply serving as a higher education branding tool, the video ends with a link to the Ontario Association of Food Banks website, encouraging viewers to make contributions of their own.

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4. Red Deer College Student Gets Trapped On Campus for Winter Break!

Other schools tend to take a more lighthearted approach when it comes to making their holiday greeting. This effort from Red Deer College in Alberta, Canada, features a student who gets locked in the school over the winter break! While it may not sound too appealing to those of us who would rather be at home with family and friends, some holiday magic helps the hapless student make the best of his situation.

With its clever nod to the classic holiday movie Home Alone, the video is a great example of truly inventive higher education content marketing.

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5. Western University’s Wonderful Winter’s Tale

In the UK, the annual Christmas advert of department store John Lewis has become a national event over the last decade, with the whole country eagerly awaiting its release every year, and the understated but heartwarming clips have garnered universal acclaim for their excellent production values. Ontario’s Western University have taken note, and their holiday greeting this year is inspired by John Lewis’s 2012 campaign ‘The Journey.’

And with a perfect soundtrack, impressive cinematography, and excellent use of the school’s branding elements, it’s every bit as rousing as the original, and one of my personal favourite greetings of the year.

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6. The Little Girl Who Grew Up To Study Engineering at the University of Memphis

This short but sweet holiday greeting from the Herff College of Engineering at the University of Memphis makes excellent use of a simple but very effective idea, showing a young girl playing with building blocks by a Christmas tree, before fading to a young engineering student working on a more complex creation of her own.

The great thing about this video is that it also conveys a powerful student recruitment message, with the parallels between the two images reminding prospective students that education can sometimes make childhood dreams come true.

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7. The University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment Discover What Matters Most

One of the most popular sources of inspiration for holiday greetings is Clement Clarke Moore’s The Night Before Christmas poem, with many schools producing their own reworked versions of it over the years.

For their holiday greeting, The University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment found a new twist on the tale, in a video where the Dean sets students and faculty members a challenge to bring the thing they value the most to the faculty courtyard.

With a surprising ending that delivers a positive message about the value of education and togetherness, the video is one of the best of the year.

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8. University of Michigan’s Dean of Engineering Uses the Force

Okay, so this was technically released last year, but we couldn’t resist sharing this offering from the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering. The College’s Dean of Engineering David C. Munson made waves a few years ago when he decided to deliver his holiday message in the form of a rap song!

This year, the school went even further, with the Dean portraying a rapping Jedi Knight in a humorous Star Wars parody that also featured students and faculty from various departments dressed as characters from the popular movie franchise. Dean Munson is unfortunately retiring this year, which means this may be our last chance to appreciate his talents.

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Of course, there are countless other great holiday videos online, with schools all over the world putting their own unique stamp on the formula, and this is just our personal list of favourites. Nonetheless, we hope you’ve enjoyed reading it, and that it gives you some interesting ideas for creating a holiday greeting of your own come this time next year. Until then, happy holidays from everyone at HEM!

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