Thursday, January 21, 2010

The High School Musical generation goes to college

Have you caught the latest trend in higher ed marketing? The kids who grew up loving High School Musical are now in college, and undergraduate institutions have taken notice. It seemed to start with the international "University LipDub" project, whose most famous one-take, student-produced video came from the University of Quebec at Montreal (more than 4 million views on YouTube):

Students and PR offices at other universities have followed suit with their own lipdubs of varying quality. Last month, John Hopkins offered their own twist by producing a musical video to thank its donors:

The award for most overproduced university video goes to "That's Why I Chose Yale," released on YouTube last week. You'll need to block out 16 minutes to watch the complete musical, which includes a cameo by Brian Williams:

While I can't ever imagine this happening at my law school, I also never would have predicted the Ivy Leagues getting in on this trend. So will graduate and professional schools (or our students) be joining this bandwagon in the next few years? Is this a phase that students will outgrow, or is it a permanent element of pop culture?


  1. These are three of my favorite higher ed videos out right now. I think we will be seeing this trend grow for awhile. They are fun, creative, and show of the campus, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and more.

    Here is one other favorite LipDub. But this one is done by high schoolers. They show a majority of the HS campus and most (if not all) of its students and some staff. They had to lip sing this backwards to get things to match up.

  2. The Yale video has generated quite a bit of discussion on the CASE Communications listserv. (Yeah, I know; listservs are so old-school. But so are a lot of us in higher ed marketing and PR.) It seems most of the people talking about the video either love it or hate it. Personally, I think it takes far too long to get to the point. But I'm not the target audience, so who cares what my perspective is? The other issue pertaining to the video is that once the New York Times picks up on a "trend" like this, then it must mean the trend is on the way out.

  3. Travis-thanks for explaining the HS one. I came across it without the backstory and didn't get the significance at first. Crazy idea!

    Andrew-I agree on the Yale video. To be completely honest, I had to watch it in sections because it was so long—-who has the time?