Marketing Fireworks: Backstage for the Assumption High School Lip Dub

Build community. Boost enrollment. Create organic buzz. Excite students. Yeah … that’s a successful communications/marketing effort.


We all strive for the big wins, but when Assumption High School recorded a lip-dub student-shadow video (using Katy Perry’s “Fireworks”), they nailed it. Everything they wanted to accomplish, they did — and more.

At the EdSocialMedia Summit, Elisabeth Russo (the school’s Director of Admissions) gave a behind-the-scenes look at how the video came together. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as difficult as it might seem (but still difficult), and even a school without a professional marketing firm on contract, something many schools could do reasonably well.


The guts of the project came down to planning, which began by choosing a song (with the help of students), scouting the location (the school) and creating buzz with everyone (including skeptical faculty). For the video itself, Elisa essentially scripted action for the entire song, breaking it into segments of a few seconds and worked with a videographer for lighting, camera angles and so forth.


The video shoot, on the other hand, only lasted 90 minutes (after lunch).


Okay … that’s a lot. But it’s worth it, if it works. At the very least, it will hopefully inspire others to plan similar, successful efforts.

Josh Loftin

Senior Partner at Route 89 Communications

Josh Loftin oversees the marketing and communications for Wasatch Academy, a private college preparatory boarding school in central Utah. He also owns Route 89 Consulting, which assists small businesses, nonprofits and schools with long-range planning, marketing strategy and program development. Josh previously spent nearly 15 years as a political reporter in Utah.