Warning! By necessity, the following trailers contain spoilers.
The article itself is safe to read if you wish to avoid them.
There Is A Quite Big Problem With Modern Trailers
I’m by no means the first person to notice that trailers have a bad habit of giving too much information.
But I have a solution. And it works with how we’re already doing trailers. It’s so simple that it might be implemented before I get this post live because it makes so much sense.
But before we get into it, I need to acknowledge something: some people like spoilers. Some viewers want to know that the movie they’re going to watch, or the show they plan to spend time with, will not throw something too different at them.
Trailers That Lie Mess With The Comfort Watchers
Some people report enjoying things more when they know the ending. It’s like ordering a dish from a restaurant they haven’t been to before, so they order something that’s usually the same. The eggs and bacon approach.
So, I don’t want to get rid of that option.
Instead, my idea is based on the already accepted red-band and green-band trailer model. I propose Spoiler-Free and Spoiler Heavy options—combined with the above two when applicable. The Spoiler-Free one being used prominently on television and at theaters. And the Spoiler Heavy option being available anywhere a person might go looking to watch/learn more about the film. Both choices can be displayed on things like the film’s website or any streaming site, like Netflix or Vudu, that’s hosting it.
Just Let Us Choose The Type of Teaser We Want
This seems also fairly economical (though I could simply be too ignorant of the film industry to know better) as it’s just recutting the trailer a few ways. It even offers split testing, as you could feasibly get data about which version drives more traffic (or demographics) to a movie.
The point of a trailer is to get us, the viewing public, to watch something. And if some of us dismiss a movie/show because we feel we already saw most of it, then that’s losing sales. It’s not a good situation for anyone. Sure, there may be instances of someone learning from revealing trailers if audiences will like a movie (hello, Sonic The Hedgehog), but I’d argue that if a company is so fearful of the reception of a film that they’d like an advanced warning, then there are bigger, higher up issues than just the way a trailer is presented. For good products, good pieces of art, offering a choice of how we want to interact with the marketing might bolster its goodwill. And the Spoiler-Free trailers can do their job of building mystery, curiosity, and intrigue.
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