I love starting my week with video. Here’s one from Gettysburg College. What better day than Leap Day to capture campus life via photos and short video?

Perceived Goals

  • To showcase life on Gettysburg College campus.
  • I believe there are broader purposes for this video than simply using it as a recruitment-focused marketing tool.


  • If I was giving out points, I’d give Gettysburg 279 points for creating an interactive and integrated social media campaign for the Leap Day Photo Project. Not only was this video shared on and YouTube, the College promoted the project on Facebook and encouraged user photo submissions on Tumblr and on a special Posterous account for the project. .

  • YouTube Insights gives valuable information into the success of your videos. As a regular viewer, I am able to view the top three gender + age demographics for any YouTube video. Of course, when you are trying to recruit a traditional undergraduate student the goal is to have “Female 13-17” and “Male 13-17” among the list. A day in the life hit a home run with the “Female 13-17” demographic. I’m going to roll with awarding arbitrary points and grant Gettysburg 78 points for connecting with half of their target market.
  • As you know from my last review, I think it is extremely important to update description, tags, and the category for YouTube videos. Because this project has an interactive component, I think Gettysburg should have encouraged photo submissions with a link to Posterous or Tumblr right within the video description. And why isn’t “Leap Day” a tag? 40 points awarded for not leaving these sections blank. 18 points taken away for missing an opportunity.
  • The length is perfect. The video moves along and the visuals are nicely timed with the music. (Little details like that make all the difference.) This is the type of video where length can easily get away from you, so kudos for keeping it to just over one minute.
  • Campus looks great, students look happy, and a woman was wearing a Gettysburg hoodie. “Duh,” you might be thinking, “why would I show trash or unhappy faces?” Well, getting these images isn’t as easy as you might think when you are snapping candid photos and shooting random video clips. And most of the photos and videos have that raw, “I just pulled out my iPhone” feel.
  • Academics, athletics, and food. I think my one complaint is every photo or video can be placed into one of those categories. What about the impressive performing arts groups? Or photos of students volunteering with the local youth?


  • By sharing the video in multiple places, the view count is over 1,000.
  • I’m wondering if Gettysburg can attribute new photo submissions on either Tumblr or Posterous directly to this video. (Paul, are you out there? Have any insights?)



I give this video a 9 because Gettysburg paid attention to details. Lining up the images and music may have been something a less-experienced video editor would have overlooked. And this video will be easily repurposed, increasing the return on investment. The length is perfect and I walk away feeling good about life on campus at Gettysburg.

Paul Fairbanks, Director of Web Communications, Communications and Marketing, submitted this video and says, “We feel the video was successful in both capturing the day and reflecting life at Gettysburg College. We are pleased with the view count and will re-use the video in the future.” Well done, Paul.

What rating would you give this video and why? Leave a comment below. And don’t forget to submit a video from your institution.

Mallory Wood

AUTHOR - Mallory Wood

I ride the line between ESTJ and ISTJ. What does that mean for mStoner, besides entertaining colleagues with my wit and charm? I'm a problem-solver and enjoy working through our potential client's challenges to identify solutions and how a partnership with mStoner will bring value. Find me on


  • Paul Fairbanks

    Thanks Mallory,
    Glad you liked it and appreciate the constructive critique. We are just getting our feet wet with user generated content but had good buy in from dining, the library and campus rec, less so from students and faculty in the classrooms, etc. Our student videographer is outstanding and the one who pays attention to the details of the music aligning with the images, etc.
    We did not receive photos via tumblr or posterous after the video was released but we do have a photo of the day feature d on our news page( and have developed that over the last few years so that the campus community knows to send us their interesting images:
    Looking forward to more Reel Deal Mondays.

  • Paul Fairbanks

    The talent of our students when it comes to video has really raised the bar in our office. The most recent student production was for Get Acquainted Day ( and is well on its way to being the most popular GAD video yet.
    As to photo sharing, I would love to share what we have done. Having launched Photo of the Day on Nov. 10 of 2008, we have had some time.

  • Mallory Wood

    Paul, I’m glad you submitted the video! I love that students and the campus community played a big role in creating the video. Surveys (like E-Expectations from Noel-Levitz) often tell us that prospective students want to see video created by their peers.

    The photo archive you shared is incredible! It’s impressive that you’ve developed a campus culture of photo sharing. I’m sure there are institutions out there who would love to hear how you did it. Perhaps we could collaborate on a future blog post? 🙂

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