Gratavid helps give Union students personalized graduation surprise
Learn how Union used video for graduation suprise
July 3, 2020 · 5 min read
With graduation approaching and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic delaying graduation ceremonies across the country, Union University’s President Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver wanted to do something special for the graduating class of 2020.
The leadership team at Union passed around a few ideas, and there was one that seemed particularly appealing to Dr. Oliver. He wanted to personally thank each student for their accomplishments and contributions to the school via a brief video.
Personally congratulating 595 students, remotely, is no small feat. In fact, it seems like a logistical nightmare on the surface.
But Union University already had the perfect tool to tackle this task. Lauren Kennedy, Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations, had just signed Union up to use Gratavid for sending thank you videos to donors. Why not use it to thank nearly 600 departing seniors? The idea was born.
Making these videos couldn’t be done in a day. In fact, it took Dr. Oliver roughly 50 hours to shoot the personalized videos, each lasting between 1–2 minutes. One-by-one, down the list they went, one through 595. The videos needed to be stored in one place, they needed to be distributed quickly through text and email, and they needed to appear to come straight from the school.
Gratavid provided all of that in one place. It saved hours of time and offered both structure and organization.
Union’s graduation ceremony was originally supposed to be held on May 16. The pandemic pushed it back at least a month. On a day in which disappointment could’ve so easily been the theme, instead, the students were surprised with a video on their smartphone with a personal message from their president.
When all was said and done, Dr. Dub received 143 replies thanking him for his touching video.
Gratavid helped create Watson’s moment of elation, along with so many others.
Even though there was a team behind the operation, the ability for Union to send Gratavids on behalf of Dr. Dub made the videos feel like they were coming directly from the President himself. “My favorite thing was to see the students reply to their video. It felt like they were responding directly to Dr. Dub.” said Lauren Kennedy.
The campaign finished with over 6500 video plays, 398 shares, an 84% email open rate email open rate, a 57% email click-through rate, and a 53% text click-through rate.
The message was brief, easy to access, and intimate in nature. A graduating class forced to miss so much for circumstances impossible to foresee ended up with something special on graduation day in the end.
“Union is a place that takes seriously our core values of being excellence-driven, Christ-centered, people-focused, and future-directed,” Oliver said. “It seemed to me that this project, which many people helped with, is one that demonstrates those core values in a very tangible way.”
Gratavid assisted in personifying those values.
Ready to stand out with personalized video?
Check out our favorite Gratavid testimonials below, and visit Gratavid.com for examples and to learn more.