7 Graduation Ad Ideas to Kick Off Grad Season

Eliza Talvola


It’s time to congratulate your grad! Create a video to celebrate and look back on all they've accomplished–from preschool, to middle school and high school, all the way through college. Whether your graduation celebration will be in-person or online, recognize all that your grad has accomplished with video. We’re here to help you create your own personalized graduation video in a matter of minutes.

Read on to find out how to make a video to celebrate their achievements, or if you’re ready to start creating right away, get started with our Class of 2024 template, shown below.

Looking for something more specific? Click on the links below to jump to any section.

What to include in your graduation video

Before you put together your video or slideshow, take some time to collect all the photos and video clips you’ll need to tell your grad’s story. You can reach out to friends and relatives, search through social media, or hunt down old photo albums to find all the highlights of your grad’s journey. To help your search, here’s a list of a few types of photos or video clips you might want to include:

  • The early years: Show your grad how far they’ve come! Grab an image from the first day of school or a preschool graduation photo.
  • Extracurricular activities: School isn’t just about academics! Add in a few photos and video clips featuring teams and clubs your grad participated in to show their extracurricular accomplishments.
  • Family and friends: It takes a village! Share vacation or holiday photos to show your graduate surrounded by their loved ones.
  • Milestone moments: Include a few of your grad’s major school highlights—prom, homecoming games, and awards ceremonies all merit the cut.
  • What’s next: Is your grad off to college? Off to work? Include some shots of what’s to come, or share well wishes for their future.
  • Graduation day: Capture photos and videos of their graduation ceremony and add it to your video. If your grad isn’t attending a formal ceremony, you can still snap a picture of them in their cap and gown for your video.

Put them all together and you’ve got a heartfelt, nostalgic video your graduate can treasure for years to come. Check out this example of a graduation video, then make your own in minutes with an easy-to-use template.

What to say in your graduation video

When you add text to your video, imagine you’re telling a story. Talk about your grad’s journey towards their degree from the beginning of their schooling to where they’re headed in the future, reminding them of all they’ve accomplished along the way.

If you’re unsure of what to write, just speak from the heart—literally. Try thinking through what you want to say to your special grad and write down what you come up with. Professional and Professional Plus users can use this as a script and read it aloud in the video using the Voice-over feature.

When in doubt, visit our post on graduation quotes. We’ve got famous, funny, and heartfelt sayings to help you find the right words, including the ones in the video below.

Ideas for celebrating a graduate from afar

Won’t be with your grad on commencement day? Send them a video celebration from anywhere in the world. Here are a few ideas to kickstart your creativity:

  • Include messages from loved ones: Ask friends and family to shoot a few seconds of video on their phones congratulating your grad. Have them send you all the clips, then put them together in your video.
  • Show everyone at once: Use an online meeting platform like Zoom to get friends and family together and record your meeting. Set up Gallery View so you can see everybody at once and have everyone say “Congratulations” or any other greeting you wish at the same time. Then add and trim the recording in your Animoto video. You can see what this looks like in the Graduation Message template above.
  • Do a graduation photoshoot: Put that cap and gown to good use with a fun photoshoot. Have your graduate wear their robes and take photos in front of a backdrop or in a scenic location on their school’s campus. Add the photos together with an eye-catching Burst block for a stop-motion effect.
  • Make a video yearbook: Celebrate all they’ve achieved with a video recapping their year. Include any academic photos you have, plus extracurricular activities and out-of-school moments that they’ll want to remember. You can even ask friends to “sign” the yearbook with quotes you can include in your video. Give it a try with our Graduation Memories template.

How to make a graduation video in Animoto

1. Choose a graduation template

Starting with a template takes a lot of the work out of making a video. We recommend our Graduation Message, Class of 2024, I Graduated, and Graduation Memories templates for graduations, but you can pick and customize any template that you like.

2. Add in photos and video clips

Check out your social media accounts to find photos from your grad’s school years. If you can, add a few short video clips to add extra movement and energy to your graduation slideshow. Record a couple quick interviews with friends and family to elevate your video.

3. Drag and drop to make your video

When you’ve got all of your content together, upload it into Animoto. Then drag and drop the photo or video clip you want right into your video. If you’re using one of our graduation templates, you can also customize the text for your grad to create a personalized, heartfelt message.

4. Choose colors for your graduation video

In the spirit of graduation, show your school pride one last time! Choose your graduate’s school colors to accent your video. If those don’t work for you, just pick out your grad’s favorite colors to customize the video just for them.

5. Select a music track

Music can help amplify the mood you’re trying to create in your video. If you’re making a graduation video for your child, try a sweet instrumental track. Celebrating your own ceremony? Try a high-energy track to match the excitement of Graduation Day.

Animoto has a library of commercially licensed songs you can use in any of your videos. When you upgrade to the Professional or Professional Plus plan, you’ll gain access to over 3,000 licensed music tracks to celebrate your graduate’s successes. You can also record, upload, and edit your own voice-over tracks to share a personalized message. To help make your search even easier, we selected a few favorite songs that are a great fit for an upbeat graduation video.

Sharing your graduation video

After you’ve finished editing your video, here are a few ways you can share it with friends, family, and classmates.

Post on social media

Let friends and family who can’t be there get in on the excitement of graduation day by sharing your video on social media. Just click on the “Share” icon from any finished video project, and then select the social network(s) you’d like to share to!

Alternatively, you can always download your video and then upload it directly to the desired social destination.

Share on Facebook or Instagram Stories

Celebrate school memories and achievements with a vertical video you can share as a Reel, Tiktok, or Story for Facebook or Instagram. Use the ratio tool to turn any template into a vertical video.

Show a graduation video in an online meeting

Are you a remote teacher? Do you want to share your students’ achievements with the whole class? Whether you’re celebrating with your remote classroom or family members from all over the world , you can share your video through a Zoom meeting or Google Hangout. Both tools let you share your screen, so you can arrange a virtual party for your grad and show your graduation slideshow then.

Watch a graduation slideshow at a party

Celebrating with the whole fam? It’s easy to set up a computer, TV, or projector to share a video at a graduation party. We cover how to set up your graduation video for an audience in this blog post.

Graduation season is also an excellent time to let recent grads know about your promotions or to make your product top-of-mind for a great graduation gift. Use our graduation templates to set the celebratory mood, or customize any of our Product Promotion templates with graduates in mind.

Whether you’re a student, an educator, or a parent, check out our graduation video page for even more inspiration. Then get started by creating your own video slideshow to help your grad relive their journey to graduation day.