Sneak peek videos become yearbook phenomenon

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Before this spring, yearbook staffs kept their inside pages a secret, reveling in the reveal on distribution day. But the pandemic forced staffs to rethink their marketing strategy, doing something they’ve rarely done before.

They began sharing sneak peek videos on social media, showcasing multiple pages, sometimes even the whole book. The phenomenon has taken the yearbook community by storm, with staffs across the country sharing reveal videos.

It’s been one of the coolest and best responses to the current circumstances.

Morristown West High School made two reveal videos using iMovie. They both have fun graphics and music and showcase select pages from the 2020 yearbook.


If you haven’t made a yearbook sneak peek video yet, but want to, we’ve broken it down into four main steps. Virtually every adviser who made a video had never done it before, so we’re all learning together! Please realize it’ll take some time and trial and error, but it’ll be incredibly worth it when you’re done.

1. Capture spread images
The first step is to save your spreads as jpegs. Many advisers opened a PDF, set to double-page view and took a screenshot of the spread (PC users can also use the Snipping Tool). If you’re only able to see one page at a time, you can still screenshot each page and combine in Photoshop. If you don’t have Photoshop, save each page as a separate PDF, place in a Word document and convert to an image.

Another option is to open PDFs directly into Photoshop. Combine the left and right pages into one file, flatten and save as a jpeg. InDesign users can also export spreads as jpeg files.

2. Use software to build video
Using video editing software, add your spread jpegs into a preferred order. Add transition effects and any desired text. There are a host of different options for creating the actual video, several that are free or offer a free trial:

Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere
Adobe Spark

Some advisers also utilized PowerPoint for text and the spread jpegs. Then, they saved the presentation as a video file.

Using Adobe Premiere, Cinco Ranch High School created a fast-paced yearbook reveal video. Although only 36 seconds, it has a vivid impact, thanks to the quick cuts and “stomp” audio track. “We wanted our community to know the yearbook staff was working ‘overtime’ to include distance learning and reaction to canceled spring events,” adviser Ed Larsen said.

3. Add royalty-free music
Select royalty-free music to avoid copyright issues. While some sites offer stock music for free, others have a small fee.

CC Mixter
Epidemic Sound
Free Music Archive
Free Play Music
YouTube Audio Library

4. Share on social media and email
Post your yearbook reveal videos on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Students can pitch in by sharing and commenting on posts. Also, don’t forget about the power of email. Bellevue East High School used the eMarketing program to email parents a link to their sneak peek video. Overnight, they sold nine additional books and 57 books in eight days.

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Bellevue East High School’s sneak peek video

We all know these are unprecedented times. They’ve forced us to rethink our marketing strategies, resulting in an innovative yearbook trend. Sneak peek videos are a smart way to promote the book, celebrate finishing and build sales. We hope to see your video next!

Sampling of sneak peek videos

Please note some videos are only available on Twitter or Facebook. If you do not have accounts, you may not be able to view some videos.

Cedar Park High School Cedar Park, Texas

Creekside Park Junior High School The Woodlands, Texas

Danforth Junior High School Wimberley, Texas

East View High School Georgetown, Texas

iPreparatory Academy Miami, Florida

Morristown West High School Morristown, Tennessee

Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School Oak Lawn, Illinois

Oak Ridge High School Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Ozona High School Ozona, Texas

Pearland Junior High West Pearland, Texas

Prescott High School Prescott, Arizona

RB Stall High School North Charleston, South Carolina

Ridgeview Middle School Round Rock, Texas

Saguaro High School Scottsdale, Arizona

Siegel High School Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Southeast High School Bradenton, Florida

Spring Lake Park High School Spring Lake Park, Minnesota

Stuttgart High Yearbook Böblingen, Germany

Summitt High School Fontana, California

Thrall High School Thrall, Texas

Wills Point High School Wills Point, Texas

Winnetonka High School Kansas City, Missouri

Woodcreek Middle School Houston, Texas

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