We're living in a strange time right now as marketers continue to brainstorm different ways to get the most bang for their buck when promoting a product. The latest trend is a preview for a preview, and we've been seeing it applied to movie trailers for awhile now. What used to be a practice primarily used by shows like Entertainment Tonight to tease a big trailer premiere has since morphed into a tool that's being used on more and more movies as competition for early buzz in a world that processes information ridiculously fast.
It really took off with the Twilight films after Summit Entertainment would tease upcoming trailers with five or 10-second previews, and since then the trailer preview has become expected, much to the chagrin of fans who complain over very little footage even though they're still compelled to watch it. "Don't give us that thing we're going to watch anyway!," they scream on Twitter and Facebook.
Up until now, though, the preview for a preview has been primarily used as a marketing tool for movie studios online, meaning the only people really noticing them were movie nerds who spend a great deal of time online obsessing over such things. But then this year's Super Bowl came along, introducing the rest of the world to the latest form of advertising foreplay as companies took a page out of Hollywood's book by unveiling teasers for their Super Bowl spots.
Here's Stephen Colbert's rant about it from last night's Colbert Report:
So where do we go from here? Do we sign petitions or stop watching movie trailers out of protest? Not really. There's nothing we can do. The trailer preview is now here, and it's here to stay because it's successful. It gets your attention. What we can hope for is that Hollywood finds a happy medium, and instead of doling out multiple three-second previews, they stick to one trailer preview that's at least 15-30 seconds long. Something substantial. Something we can discuss.
Something we can wrap our arms around.
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