Yale Admissions Video – Glee Meets High School Musical in New Haven

Thursday, Jan. 28th 2010 6:25 PM

Marketing is critical to any business. Colleges and universities are no different.

Each year we are witness to some interesting efforts. For example, last year we were exposed to Harvard by the Numbers:

But in today’s YouTube, mash up world, such marketing videos are ripe
for alteration. No sooner had we been exposed to Harvard by the Numbers, we got this superb parody:


Now comes the latest from the talented students at Yale University. For a generation smitten by the likes of High School Musical and Glee, it may well be the perfect marketing tool:

While we await the parody that will certainly be forthcoming (though we doubt it will attempt to match the length), it is interesting to see the current reactions making their way around the web.

For many current Yalies, it is, well ‘cringeworthy’.

“Next year’s class is going to be devoid of any serious academic talent,” offers ugh. “What a huge sap on our prestige.”

“This is so embarrassing,” adds whoa while another commenter called Crimson went on to suggest, “This is the best recruiting ploy Harvard ever came up with!”

It gets no better among the college elite. In “That’s Why I Chose” to Ram a Soldering Iron Into My Ears, Bobby Fineman of Ivygate lets loose:

“Oh. my. god. Yale has released a new admissions video called “Why I Chose Yale,” and it is bananas! Rotting, blighted bananas made of earnest on-key singing and poop.”


Zachary Warma at Stanford calls his piece, Hell Hath No Fury Like That of a 16.5-Minute Yale Admissions YouTube Music Video:

“Yale Admissions Office put together what can only be called one of the single greatest abominations ever to hit the intrawebs ……It is unknown whether the worst part is the elitist self-righteousness put into song …….in this incendiary affront to higher education.”


And the ever popular Gawker insists that “one of the Western world’s most prestigious universities has decided to roll out a sixteen minute and forty-nine second-long info movie, much of which involves current students warbling and dancing awkwardly, as most Ivy League dorks are wont to do. No one can ever agree on art. But what we can all agree on is: NERDS!!!!”

The popular site adds this comment from an Eli: “the film’s obsessive coverage of Yale’s social opportunities perfectly reflects the student body’s general trend of trading intellectual vigor for inebriate juvenility.”

Double ouch.

But while many are holding their collective noses, Tweed at the Chronicle blog almost gushes:

“When colleges try to appeal to prospective students through advertisements, they must walk a fine line between legitimate promotion and schmaltzy marketing that opens the way for genius satire.

“With its campy new admissions musical, ‘That’s Why I Chose Yale,’ Yale University proves you really can have it both ways. The video, a song-and-dance sketch that is clearly aimed at the generation weaned on High School Musical, simultaneously winks at its audience while feeding it images of successful, ebullient Elis romping across the campus like the cast of ‘Up With People’.”

Tweed is not alone with praise though Christopher Shea at Brainiac is more reserved and offers simply, “I think it works.” He even titles his little reference, “Yale plays dirty in the college-recruitment game” though he does wonder aloud who did the voice-over for those Yale professors.

What say you our faithful readers – good marketing??


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