Reel Deal Monday: Pop quiz: the beginning

This post originally appeared on

Confession: I had every intention to feature the latest video from the Boston College Minute video series, “Problem in A minor.” The BC Minute series produced by Ravi Jain consistently tops my list for effective, interesting, and engaging web video content.

I went to Boston College’s YouTube channel to get the embed code for Problem in A minor and their feature video Pop quiz: the beginning started to play. And I was instantly hooked.

Usually I am not a fan of using auto-play and I never suggest clients take that approach with their YouTube channel. But I’ll admit that I probably wouldn’t have thought to watch the video otherwise, because I was on a mission to find another link.

Please note, I have not interviewed BC staff about the production, goals, or outcomes of Pop quiz: the beginning.

Perceived Goals

  • To educate current students, prospective students, and the greater Boston College community about the Sesquicentennial Celebration.
  • I do not believe using this video as a recruitment-focused marketing tool for the institution was a primary goal.


  • The video is funny. I see a diverse student population, a beautiful campus, and students who seem friendly, interesting, and most importantly–real. I don’t care if they can spell Sesquicentennial (heck, I’m not sure I can either!) but it is funny watching them try.
  • The video is fast-paced, the audio is high-quality, and even though Pop quiz is nearly 4 minutes long–my attention was held the entire time.
  • The host does a great job interacting with the unsuspecting students. I think this was key to the success of the video. The side commentary at :11, :36, and 3:26 kept the balance between light-hearted Q&A and information overload.
  • It is clear from the Sesquicentennial site that Boston College is celebrating the anniversary all month. Pop quiz was filmed before the festivities began (+1 for thinking ahead) but wasn’t published until April 18 (-1 for failing to capitalize on potential web traffic for the entire month).
  • Nothing gets me more upset than seeing video information (description, title, tags) that isn’t filled out on YouTube. It is so simple and provides context for your viewers, this should be a must. Boston College always does an excellent job filling out this information. By giving viewers further information about the College’s 150th celebration, they were able to keep the video light and funny.


  • No matter what audience I belong to, by watching Pop quiz I learn something new about Boston College.
  • I am not sure how or if BC promoted this video, but 347 views in five days is pretty typical of higher education web video. They are missing an opportunity to link to this video from the Sesquicentennial home page and the main Boston College Facebook page.


rating is 8


I give this video an 8 because it delivers otherwise “boring” College facts in a way that is fun and funny. And while it was a bit longer than I’d usually suggest, my attention was held throughout the entire video. If a prospective student interested in BC finds this video, I believe they’ll be interested and enjoy seeing the authentic student-to-student interaction. Pop quiz doesn’t scream “marketing” and the video is well produced.

What rating would you give this video and why? Leave a comment below.

About Mallory Wood

Mallory Wood is a Vermont-based higher ed marketing professional with a passion for social media, web video, and event production. View all posts by Mallory Wood

One response to “Reel Deal Monday: Pop quiz: the beginning

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