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Which would be the better word to use for short, informative "films" made to attract students to a university – film or infomercial? Or something else entirely? Perhaps I could use promo? But I need it for a semi-formal text, so perhaps promo is too informal?

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  • maybe demonstration/introduction/presentation/ad/commercial? – Andrew Tobilko Jan 8 at 16:24
  • Thanks @AndrewTobilko; I really need the word for the more specific kind of 'commercial' that is in the form of a short 'film' though, to set it apart from other kinds of commercials... the other words you suggest don't work at all in the specific context I'm working with, I'm afraid... – Hannah Jan 8 at 16:27
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    Hannah, I tried to search for different variants of this word, but looking at all the possibilities it seems that the best you would do is with a 'promotional video' if it doesn't describe all formalities of the college/university, how it works and all, just like an advert. However, if it describes noteworthy information, 'infomercial' is the word. Perhaps someone else will be able to help you. – Dhanishtha Ghosh Jan 9 at 20:10
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    @DhanishthaGhosh Thank you! I never meant for anyone to do the work for me (I was just looking for native speaker intuition), so an extra thank you for going the extra mile <3 Promotional video it is! :) – Hannah Jan 10 at 10:16
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"Promo" is short for "promotional video". These can be informative and they are intended to attract students to the university.

An infomercial is something that is shown on TV. If the university has purchased time on (for example) the Home Shopping channel, that would be an infomercial. But that would be unusual. Most infomercials are selling kitchen or gym equipment.

The difference between an advert and promotional video is mostly how it is broadcast. For example, if will see the video on your website, then it a promo, but I am going to see it in the gaps between videos that I want to see on youtube, then it is an advert.

Promotional video would seem to be the best, and fairly formal expression.

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  • Thank you so much for this clarification! Clear as crystal now :) And yes – promotional video fits perfectly! – Hannah Jan 10 at 10:14

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