FESTIVE SCREEN: Eight examples of engaging public sector seasonal video

There is a creativity at Christmas that you don’t always find at other times of year and its lovely to see.

Looking round at the seasonal offerings from the public sector there’s a mix of things from the professionally shot to the smartphone created.

If there was one wish, it would be for people to exercise creativity at other times of year. To steal the Dog’s Trust slogan, creativity is for life not for Christmas.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue’s ‘Fairytale of New York’ parody


This five minute epic is long on time but well put together. I’m presuming they’ve got around the legal obstacle of copyrighted material and using an established Christmas song to parody gives them a headstart. Bonus brownie points for sub-titling.

Why this is good: A catchy tune well sung with some fire safety messages. And sub-titles.

 Leeds Teaching Hospital’s Christmas film of elves making presents


There’s a bit of a narrative here. The staff help make the presents so the children can have a happy Christmas. It’s a story in its own right and I reckon by focussing on staff as the stars of the film they’ll get a decent reach as their friends, families and colleagues share it.

Why this is good: Staff are human beings. And Elves. 

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospital’s player visit


West Bromwich Albion players visit the children’s ward to give out presents and lift spirits. More newsy than story telling the players are featured meeting patients. Branded with the logo this is eminently sharable.

Why this is good: Footballers with real people. 

Durham County Council’s recycling Christmas song


This is really straight forward. Take a festive song and add some lyrics that encourage recycling. They’ve dropped in some festive touches and cutaways.

Why this is good: Staff being festive with a simple message.  

Wigan Council’s Hendrix the dog film


Children and animals they both work well. So, a story of Hendrix the dog who dreams of being a reindeer is lovely.

The dog is part of a campaign to encourage people to come to town centre events with the wider hashtag #hendrixthereindeer.

Why this is good: Children + animals + Christmas + storytelling = win.

Cambridgshire public sector’s film that reminds people they work over Christmas


Many people work over Christmas and often its unseen and taken for granted.

So, a film with a Christmas carol that soundtracks footage of foster carers, gritters, police officers, fire crew, control centre staff, housing people and others is a nice way to remind people that there’s help and support.

Why this is good: Action shots of public sector people.

Essex Police’s film about Jess the dog


There’s a story to this. Jess maybe knaws on a present from under the tree, helps herself to a piece of chicken and can be cheeky. But at heart, she’s a good dog and helps catch the bad people. I’ll presume they secured permission from REO Speedwagon to use their track.

Why this is good: Dogs are great and people will watch them and the safety message you may want to add. 

Kent Fire and Rescue’s fire safety tips as verse


A Christmas story with fire safety tips on not overloading plug sockets, snuffing candles out and other things.


Why this is good: By using the metre of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ the verse feels familar and is easily adapted. And there’s sub-titles, too. Win. 

Full disclosure: in the past I’ve helped train staff from Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Wigan Council and Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS.

Thanks to spotters Madeleine Sugden, Hannah Pudner, Georgie Agass, Caroline Riley, Michelle Atkinson, Alex Walsh, Kerri-Ann Docherty, Heather Turner, Hayley Douglas, Kevin Wright and Rob Davies.

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