last minute thanksgiving videos
Procrastination is something that just about everyone can relate to. Maybe it was putting off school projects or waiting until the last minute to go Christmas shopping, but we’ve all been there.

We won’t tell your boss, but we know this applies to work as well. For whatever reason, if you were planning on making a Thanksgiving video, but haven’t started yet, we’ve got you covered.

Below are five quick Thanksgiving video ideas you can create at the last minute.

Absolute Last-Minute Videos

These first few video concepts are the easiest videos to make. Each example could be completed within a few hours at the most. All you’ll need is a camera, some of the people in your office, and one of these ideas.

1. The “Happy Thanksgiving” Video

The basic “Happy Thanksgiving” video might be the fastest and simplest to create. This is exactly what it sounds like: wishing your customers a Happy Thanksgiving.

This no-frills video can be done in different ways to make it stand out. For instance, Sur La Table created a simple adaptation of this video with their staff. They had each person share stories about the importance of being around the table for Thanksgiving.

This video concept doesn’t require any fancy graphics or animation, since the authentic message is the central focus. It also doesn’t need an elaborate setup. The participants are simply filmed in their work environments in everyday attire. If you go this route, be sure to use our guide to getting flattering lighting in an office environment.

The low-effort production combined with a high-impact message makes this one of the best last-minute Thanksgiving videos you could produce.

2. The Favorite Recipe Video

Food is one of the most important parts of Thanksgiving, so why not capitalize on it? Ask just about anyone in the office and surely they will have a favorite Thanksgiving dish to share. If some folks don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, invite them to contribute seasonal ideas from their family traditions instead.

No matter what you think of his medical advice, Dr Oz produced an easily replicable Thanksgiving video featuring celebrities talking about their favorite dishes. Replace the celebrities with your coworkers, and that’s your video.

Even though Dr. Oz probably had more resources available, this video was filmed with basic lighting in front of a plain white backdrop, showing that if the message is good, it doesn’t need to be fancy.

3. The Classic ‘Thank You’ Video

Naturally, giving thanks is also a major part of Thanksgiving. You can use this opportunity to put together a short video thanking those who have helped your business. This is the perfect time to thank your customers, community, or anyone that comes to mind.

NASA executed this video 260 miles above the earth by featuring two astronauts sharing what they’re thankful for. They take the time to thank all those that contributed to their mission and the international space station.

Luckily, you don’t need to be in space to recreate this simple video. Find a few coworkers willing to appear on camera to share what they’re thankful for, and your video is good to go.

When You Have a Bit More Time

The following videos are suitable for companies that already make videos on a regular basis.  These concepts are a bit more involved, and will require some planning, better equipment, and a tad more time.

4. The Thanksgiving Video Sketch

If you or your team have a knack for comedy, making a short sketch video could be a hit. For instance, you could highlight some of the finer points we all love to hate about family Thanksgiving meals. This is bound to give your viewers a good laugh.

Ellen did this very well in the clip below. Her skit is based on the idea that family dysfunction is as prevalent at Thanksgiving as the turkey. Similar to the other examples, this seasonal topic is something many people can relate to, and this time with a laugh.

5. The Holiday-Themed Tutorial

Tutorials and how-to videos often trend around the holidays as viewers looks for ways to cook the best turkey, set an attractive table, and host dinner parties. Your business can capitalize on this trend in an entertaining and educational way for your viewers.

Sometimes, it’s as easy as taking a more general video concept, and putting a seasonal spin on it. For instance, we produced a video tutorial on filming food as part of our How To Video series, and gave it a holiday theme by dressing the set and crafting the messaging to evoke seasonal sentiments.

Look for on-brand, seasonal ideas for your own tutorial or how-to video, and you’ll be well on your way to a quick Thanksgiving video.

Bonus: Graphics and Stop Motion

An alternative to each of the video ideas shown above would be highlighting the message you want to spread using graphics or stop motion animation. With the right tools, these types of video can be just as quick as the ones mentioned earlier.

Graphics Video

Instead of using real people and cameras, constructing a graphics video to deliver your message can be just as effective.

The New York Times created a super simple video to this effect. Similar to the “thank you video” or “happy Thanksgiving video” concepts above, the New York Times highlighted what people are thankful for. This, like the other ideas, fit the Thanksgiving theme perfectly.

Just ask everyone in the office to submit their answers, put together an on-brand graphic, and your video will be ready in no time.

Stop Motion Animation

Another captivating style of video you might be able to complete relatively quickly is stop motion animation. Although the shoot requires a certain level of precision, you don’t need to find a location, actors, or anything other than some seasonal objects and a camera. This concept could go one of two ways.

It could be a simple representation like this Thanksgiving video from Pond5. We’d recommend using Thanksgiving-themed elements for your stop motion piece. The message could echo any of the concepts mentioned above.

If you have more resources, you could take inspiration from the video below by Blendtec. This version is admittedly more involved, but a simpler concept would definitely be doable.

You get bonus points with this idea if you can find a unique way to incorporate your product into the video, as Blendtec did with their blenders.

If you’d like to learn how to make your own stop motion masterpiece, check out our post on the six secrets to stop motion animation.


Whichever direction you go for your last-minute Thanksgiving video, we’re sure your audience will appreciate the effort. If you have other ideas, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Happy Thanksgiving!

ikey@sproutvideo.com'

Written by Ikey Ajavon

Posted November 8, 2019

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