Colleges Create Offbeat Videos to Try to Build Web Buzz

We love to see more niche markets getting creative with public relations, and using newer media to get an unusual message out is just the kind of thing that colleges should be doing. It’s a young hip demographic, certainly viral videos will be more effective online than any amount spent on print advertising. The social aspect of college should be a focus and getting viral videos spread through social networks may get groups of students interested.

From the wired campus blog:

These days colleges’ PR offices are creating more and more videos to promote campus events and get their institution’s name out. And some have tried to adopt the lighthearted or edgy tone that seems most popular on YouTube.

The collegewebeditor blog has been tracking such efforts, and today they point out an unusual holiday video created by the University of Maryland at College Park.

Connie Chung, an alumnus of the university, makes a cameo appearance, but the star is the college’s mascot, Testudo, leading students and staff members from across campus to gather for a holiday photo. The overall feel seems something out of a Disney film, and somehow it seems long, even though it’s only two minutes. It’s too soon to tell whether it will be the next big viral video — so far the version on YouTube has only been viewed a couple hundred times.

Last month, the blog featured a roundup of quirky promotional videos featuring college presidents, highlighting various presidents jumping out of planes, answering questions on a late-night TV show, or riding a motorcycle. None of those have been blockbusters either, though.