Maybe Skip the Trailer

Avery Hamilton, Producer – Moment Creative

Picture this: You’re all set to witness the exciting new addition to the John Wick franchise, as the trailer for the latest Jurassic Park film starts rolling. Your anticipation skyrockets. You’ve been buzzing with rumors about this year’s release, and the new dinosaurs they will inevitably invent. However, as you watch, a revelation strikes you like a lightning bolt: they’re giving away the entire plot! They’re literally spoiling the whole movie in front of your eyes, as if you’ve already seen it without stepping foot in a theater. Undeterred by the misleading trailer, you decide to watch the movie anyway, intrigued by the plot it promised. However, as the film unfolds, you quickly discover that the scenes you were shown in the trailer were nowhere to be found. That big scene where a human fights a dinosaur with only his pure will and a pocketknife is, Poof,gone. You can’t help but feel betrayed and a tad bewildered about what exactly you signed up for. This is one of the major problems with film marketing today—no allure, no yearning left for the audience to experience the magic.

Trailer deception, spoilers, and over marketing a movie are major issues when presenting movies. Addressing these issues requires thoughtful and strategic marketing approaches that effectively communicate the unique qualities and appeal of a film while leaving room for audience anticipation and discovery.

One example of a highly successful movie marketing campaign is Marvel Studios’ promotion of “Avengers: Endgame.” The campaign effectively built anticipation and generated massive excitement among audiences worldwide. Marvel carefully crafted a marketing strategy that capitalized on the culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the long-awaited resolution of the Avengers storyline. They strategically released a series of teasers and trailers that revealed minimal plot details, focusing instead on evoking strong emotions and nostalgia among fans. The careful balance between generating buzz and preserving secrecy, coupled with strategic fan engagement, created an unprecedented level of anticipation. “Avengers: Endgame” went on to break numerous box office records, becoming one of the highest-grossing films of all time.

On the flip side, sometimes movies fail to ignite audience interest by not showcasing enough of what makes their movie special. Let’s take the new Pixar instalment, “Elemental”, for instance. Don’t get me wrong, they went all out with the marketing. It was everywhere you turned, bombarding you with ads. But here’s the problem: it was all generic jokes and scenes we’ve seen a million times before in other films. The marketing didn’t capture the heart and soul of the movie, the very essence that draws people into the theater. Making the marketing to be over exposed and underutilizing the core values of the film.

It is essential for filmmakers and marketing teams to strike a balance between generating interest and preserving the magic of a film, leaving room for the audience’s anticipation and discovery. In the dynamic world of film marketing, addressing these issues requires innovative and thoughtful strategies that effectively communicate a movie’s unique qualities while staying true to its core. By carefully considering what truly makes a film special and engaging with the audience in a genuine way, filmmakers can build anticipation and ensure that the movie lives up to the excitement it promises. Reevaluating the way movies are marketed can bring life and anticipation back to a theater near you.

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