I think it is safe to say that role of the movie trailer has never held as much significance as it does right now.
To keep up with the current trends of the digital era, many marketing campaigns are carried out online. Usually, this occurs through different social media platforms. When looking at these campaigns within the context of the film industry (where this strategy is often utilized), the goal is to get people on the internet talking about the movie in question. It is an ideal bubble to create traction and attract anticipation of an upcoming release by collecting likes, comments, retweets, etc.
In order to stand out, many of these virtual advertisements will take advantage of the vast possibilities on the internet to develop creative and interesting ways to garner engagement with followers. But, regardless, at the heart of any one of these campaigns lies the most important part of film advertising: the trailer. A trailer is the one thing that will get people on the internet talking the most, and a good trailer can set the tone for the general online reaction regarding the release of a new film.
This is not a new thing; the trailer has always been the most important aspect of a film’s pre-release promotion. The practice of a trailer dates to 1913, when the first trailers ever were released as a marketing stunt. After that, they became common practice, with a collection of previews being shown after a feature film, “trailing” it, hence the name. When this was deemed ineffective, the trailer took its recognizable place before a film as the pre-feature entertainment.
The trailer has always been important, but it has evolved with modern technology and trends to become an entirely independent art form of its own. Entire studios known as trailer “houses” spend day-long shifts curating trailers, teasers, and previews to satisfy the requirements and specifications given to them by those in charge of a promotion campaign.
Now, there are even award shows for trailers. The most famous of which, The Golden Trailer Awards, occurs annually and highlights different film trailers and their superlatives. It is not uncommon to go online and find a short twenty-second trailer FOR a trailer. The practice of trailers to build hype is forever ingrained in our culture. I have always found it to be the most exciting aspect of a new release, and I look forward to the ways they will continue to change with the times.