Top Ten Prep School and Private School Promotional Videos

Every parent wants a ‘better life’ for their children.

The promise of prep school and private schools is that they will provide your child with better opportunities than you will find in the public system. Even the most altruistic and socially-minded people want to ensure that their children receive every advantage they can get – every opportunity to achieve their full potential. This is the promise of private schools.

What’s changing today in the messaging for private schools is that the emphasis on the (implied) social benefits (showing a homogeneous group of students in uniforms) is being replaced by more experiential messages – engaging life experiences and more challenging learning environments.

Prep School & Private School Promotional Videos
“We’re considering all video marketing activity produced by private schools and prep schools for both junior and secondary levels.”

Technology is going to have the biggest effect on education at all grade levels in the near future – both in how students are taught and also how schools are marketed.

Promoting unique differences and specialized learning environments will be crucial to ensure ongoing success of private schools. They will, for the first time, have to compete with top quality online courses that are available to everyone for little, or no cost. Prep schools have to look beyond field trips and uniforms to demonstrate their value.

Investment in marketing will continue to grow for private schools.

Here are our Top Ten Prep School and Private School Promotional Videos:


Brand: Kingham High School  {Chipping Norton,UK}
Production Company: Unknown

Great concept and great execution.

  • This promotion stands out amongst private school videos. The production quality is excellent and it employs a creative approach to promoting the school rather than a traditional informational approach.
  • The ‘concept’ in the video is that your perspective changes how you view things and the video suggests that this is what happens at Kingham – you gain a new perspective. Sure, it’s a bit high-minded, but it’s also very intriguing.
  • The quality and the creative execution in this video positions the school very well. You associate the creativity and professionalism in the video with the school itself. This is something that most businesses really don’t appreciate. If you create a high quality promotional video – that level of professionalism is associated with your business. Conversely (and this is even more important) if the level of quality in your video is poor or average, then this is the level of quality people will associate with your business. Take-away: If you’re promotional videos are not at least ‘good’ then you probably shouldn’t make them as they’ll likely cause more harm than good.

Brand: UWC Mahindra College, {Nanegaon, India}
Production Company: Unknown

A very natural, honest and impressive presentation.

  • Mahindra College is one of the international UWC schools. These schools are quite remarkable and offer one of the most engaging and important curricula in the world.
  • The production values in this video are not as good as the other videos on this list but it really doesn’t matter. The video is an amalgam of clips taken by different people at different times throughout the school year.
  • This is easily the most honest and representative of the school videos we’ve seen and that’s why we feel it works so well.
  • Capturing the stories and experiences from students at the program and getting to see some of the things they get involved with is inspiring. These are not one day field trips to see how people live. These are immersion experiences which give the students an opportunity to live with and understand different cultures in various parts of the world.
  • The world needs more schools like these.

Brand: Amesbury Boys & Girls School, {Surrey, UK}
Creative Agency: Unknown

Hire an international music producer to produce your charity video.

  • Or better yet, get him to do your video for free because his child attends your school.
  • Hugh Goldsmith, the music mogul behind Atomic Kitten and Blue, pitched in to create a music video done to the tune of an infectious (and rather Spice Girlian) Pixie Lott song.
  • The video is really well done, it garnered a lot of attention and it raised a great deal of money for the charity that it was created to support. From a marketing perspective this video was very successful.
  • The video wasn’t created to help boost enrolment at the school so it’s not relevant to judge it in that light other than to consider what impact it may have on perceptions of the school.
  • I’m sure the higher brow private schools ‘poopooed’ this vile display of tom-foolery with a vigorous round of ’tisk-tisks’ followed up with some scathing ‘tut-tuts’.
  • I’m confident most of the kids who watched it thought it was pretty cool.

Brand: Bentley School,  {Oakland, US}
Production Company: Unkown

Great concept, great beginning… almost nailed it.

  • You really do want to see what comes next in this video – that’s an important quality to engender in a marketing video.
  • The device of having kids rearrange text on a screen to summarize their experience at the school was a very clever and creative idea. What’s even cleverer (it’s a word – look it up…) is hearing the kids think out loud as they piece together ideas with their school mates. That was very engaging.
  • In fact the whole video was almost great…. but they shouldn’t have introduced the different music tracks – that really took away from the continuity and flow of the video. Introducing different music styles derailed the video part way through. Instead, I would have supported the video with a single, powerful audio track that slowly builds towards a single, powerful message at the end of the video. Instead of a loooong list of ‘promise’ ideas that even adults aren’t going to read.
  • It’s still a great concept and it was fun to watch.

Brand: Berkshire School {Sheffield, MA, USA}
Production Company:  Unknown

Nicely filmed, nicely edited, very professional.

  • This school looks like a new Ivy League university… which I suppose is the point. It has an art gallery. Not a place on a wall on the way to the gym where the art teacher hangs some random abstract student art… an art gallery!
  • The students chosen to be on-camera were very good – believable, representative and engaging.
  • Lots of b-roll to show the wide variety of activities that take place on and off the school grounds.
  • Overall, a very impressive presentation of a very impressive school.
  • … an art gallery!

Brand: Holton Arms School {Bethesda, MD, US}
Production Company: Unknown

Upbeat and postive.

  • This private girls’ school showcases the promise of the tag line: ‘There is a real advantage.’  (Spoiler alert: The advantage is ‘girls’.)
  • This video is very well shot. Nice combination of slow-motion shots, action sequences and interaction between the girls at the school.
  • The use of multiple voice-over without relying on on-screen presentations is a very smart production technique. It allows you to concentrate your filming time on getting the best possible shots and your audio time on getting the best possible sound bites that contain the right tone and attitude. When you work with professional actors and presenters you can accomplish both. When you work with non-professionals you can waste a lot of your day trying to get someone to deliver just the right sound bit on camera.
  • The overall vibe of this video is upbeat and positive. What a great way to promote a private girls’ school.

Brand: Durrington High School {Worthing UK, }
Production Company: Arthur Agency

Another clever musical school promotion.

  • This video is an homage/remake of this One Direction song and video. While it likely won’t receive the half a billion views that the One Direction lads enjoyed, this video is a nice device to showcase the talents and the students at the school.
  • Unlike other musical school promotions, this one is actually performed by students at the school. This lends a great deal of authenticity to the video.
  • The photos themselves are very good and are fascinating snapshots of life at the school.
  • Even though the video is an interpretation of an existing commercial music video, it has a very engaging vibe that is both original and intriguing.

Brand: Fallibroome Academy {Macclesfield, UK}
Production Company: McCann Melbourne

Yet another musical that’s very impressive in scale and school spirit.

  • I suppose there just aren’t enough lip dub videos out there….
  • The scale of this video is really, really impressive. If you make it through the entire video you’re left with two thoughts: (1) There’s a whole lot going on at that school and (2) What’s the deal with the dude at 6:38 all wrapped in tinfoil trying to get through the glass door?
  • I can’t imagine the logistics and planning that went into this video, or how many takes it took. “Cut!!!! No Timmy, no. You club the zombie with your right hand, not your left… OK everybody, back to first positions.”
  • Stick around to the end of the video. The overhead shots capturing the crowd sequence are impressive.
  • This video was pretty epic.

Brand: Ashford School {Ashford, Kent, UK}
Production Company: Unknown

Showing compassion for others and inclusion is very smart.

  • The Ashford School Foundation was created to help students who couldn’t otherwise afford to attend Ashford.
  • It’s important for private schools to communicate their humanity and compassion.
  • The video captures the stories of a few studies who benefited from the Ashford School Foundation. These stories are important because it shows the real character of the school. It’s actively helping many people, not just those with the means to attend their school.
  • My only criticism is the first 15 seconds of the video where nothing happens. You’ll lose a good portion of your audience if you don’t give them a reason to watch in the first 15 seconds.

Brand: STI Senior High {Philippines}
Production Company: Unknown

Good production values ending with some old school ‘camp.’

  • STI is a network of Private Colleges in the Philippines that also has a high school program at many of their campuses. STI has campuses in over 60 cities throughout the Philippines.
  • It’s interesting to see how other countries are both providing and promoting private education.
  • The production values are very good in this video. Lots of happy, attractive students doing cool stuff. The ending is too over the top for a North American audience but every culture is different and what resonates in one country may not resonate in another.
Jimm Fox

Founder

Jimm has been working in video and marketing for the last 25 years agency side, client side and in video production.

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