The film ones and not the vehicular kind.
I used to really enjoy watching trailers. I wouldn’t actively seek them out; but, if they came on TV then I would usually pay it more attention than the other adverts, and if they were on before a YouTube video then I was less likely to skip it (unless the trailer was for a horror film – nope I cannot be dealing with those, but that’s a story for another day).
The cinema is a great place to see trailers, you are already feeling the anticipation for the film you’re there to see; so, when they show you several teasers for films aimed at the same audience, it is practically a guarantee that you’ll end up seeing at least one that you will want to watch in the future. Such is the nature of targeted advertising. They are banking on the anticipation to elevate the potential interest.
My first trip to the cinema wasn’t until I was eight or nine years old and I don’t remember much of it, except that I loved the film: Scooby Doo The Movie. From what I remember it was great, but I remember being fascinated by this whole new situation and wanting to see more films that I had never even heard of before the trailers. This is exactly what trailers are made to do, entice. The problem is, as the years have gone on they do this less and less. They don’t seem to entice me anymore. At first, I thought it was because I had worked out the formula. However, after a lot of thought, I don’t think it’s just this.
For my research, I fell into a dizzying pit of YouTube playlists that just had years and years of film trailers. The nostalgia was almost overwhelming. What I discovered was that, yes, I now know the ‘formula’ for making a trailer, but the trailer makers are now so blatantly obvious about it. No, not all trailers are like this, I am aware, but a majority of them follow a pattern almost like they had a list with tick boxes for what they should include.
I think the most obvious offender is the romantic comedy. There doesn’t seem to be much variation in trailers from film to film anymore. I love a good RomCom, but now my discovery of them comes from randomly scrolling through Netflix at 2 am or as background noise for me and my friends to talk over. It has been several years since I’ve bothered going to see one in the cinema. I love the cinema and I just don’t feel the desire to anymore.
Another issue I have is the promotional teams that allow their trailers to become what are basically ‘Best Bit Compilations’ from the film. These are the ones that annoy me the most. These are the reason I usually don’t watch trailers of highly anticipated films. Fair enough when they show the best bits it usually gets a lot of people in to watch the film, but it also means a lot of people a left disappointed. The trailer sets a high level of expectation and the audience goes in expecting the whole film to be at that level, but a lot of the time it’s just those moments that are the high points which make the rest of the film feel substandard. This is practically spoiling the film and I hate spoilers. I have left the cinema feeling that I could have got the memorable and quotable moments from the trailer and I really didn’t need to waste £15 on leaving the house and buying overpriced M&Ms.
I miss the trailers are consciously crafted with great detail – trailers that would pull me in with the tease of a good storyline and complex characters who I could get behind – trailers that make me excited about a film I haven’t seen yet – trailers that persuade me that this is something I should spend my money on. So now I often avoid them for fear of spoilers or being disappointed.
In all honesty, there are some trailers that do all the right things; teasing, enticing, persuading etc., but they seem few and far between now. Also, why do need seven trailers (ahem Marvel)? I could go on about this for days, but I won’t because I’ll just get myself frustrated. So, let me know your opinion if you want to – I may chat your ear off if you do. No apologies though.