Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

Why being brave with online video pays off

Posted in Online Video by Adam Westbrook on July 18, 2011

About this time every year, universities across the UK prepare for ‘clearing’: a space of  chaos where students who didn’t get the grades they expected hurriedly try to arrange to get onto a different uni course.

It’s big business for some universities because it gives them a chance to snap up students (and therefore cash) who were originally going somewhere else.

Now, the marketing teams spend thousands of pounds producing glossy adverts, like this one and this one, and then spend tens of thousands more to get it on television.

It’s the numbers game that ‘old’ marketing is based on: shout in the face of enough passing strangers and some will buy your product. What an outdated, expensive and arguably ineffectual way of doing things.

Take a look at this lo-fi approach by the University of Lincoln.

The humour speaks directly to the prospective students, and was clearly made by students at Lincoln, rather than a distant production company. It was a very brave decision by the university’s marketing team (especially when you understand all the clearance/bureaucracy that goes with universities) but I think it’s paid off.

No surprise this one’s gone viral, getting the University of Lincoln more attention than a glossy ad on television.

That’s why you should be brave with your online video.

Hattip: Dave Lee

3 Responses

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  1. Adam said, on July 18, 2011 at 10:31 am

    I have seen some of these before. Sure they are funny and will appeal to a bunch of people; but its a shame that the students are not come up with something a bit better use, and producing something a little less trashy. I kind of feel this makes the university of Lincoln look like where you might go if you wanna make stuff that could go on newgrounds.

    Something smart and humorous, that carries a bit of weight as well.

    Has this video actually been appearing on TV?

  2. Carl Pendle said, on July 18, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I agree with Adam. I like the fact that they are trying something new but don’t think it is that funny or clever.

  3. […] How a university took a risk with video – and it paid off  : a brilliant example of why being brave with video pays dividends for those with the foresight to do it. […]


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