Although trailers are sometimes considered to be ‘minifilms’, they are actually not, they are created to attract andhold the audience’s attention, most trailers have strongconventions related to the genre of the film. Someconventions of a trailer include:•Conversations between characters are usually short.•The trailer usually builds to a climax, it then usually ends•They showcase the best parts of the film.•The show the actors of the film.•Some visuals of the trailer are barely on screen long enoughfor our eyes to adjust to what we are seeing.Film making is a very expensive business as they have tocover the cost of production, make enough money for thenext release and pay the investors. The way films makemoney is by getting money made by the box office, this iswhen the film is released in the cinema and has a smallamount of time to become a hit with customers.
A big production may choose to release more than one trailer for afilm, especially if they have a large budget for marketing. The filmdistributor would usually create a ‘teaser’ trailer which they woulddisplay in as many places as possible to entice the audience andto alert them the film is getting ready to be released, as the namesuggests a teaser trailer is created for the purpose of teasing theaudience by only show a snippet of the film, teaser trailers areusually no more than one minute long. Following this a theatricaltrailer is usually released around three weeks before the actualfilm is launched.This is an example of a teaser trailer:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSHEYVGaWokThis is an example of a theatrical trailer:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lReemWmO5oThis is where a marketing campaign comes into play, a viralcampaign not only makes the audience aware of the fact that thefilm is in cinema but it encourages them to watch it, this can bedone in various ways which usually depend on what type of film itis.
A very common type of way which is used is to make a trailer or ateaser trailer. This is when there is a short clip of the movie whichis usually the best parts of a movie is shown to the audience tocapture excitement and to arouse interest. At the end of the trailerthere is normally a question which is unanswered, this willprovoke the audience into going to see the film to findanswers, the directors use this human nature to make the trailermore appealing. Another common and cost effective way that isused are posters of the movie, these are put up in variousplaces, usually outside the cinema to catch to draw the audiencein, the posters must stand out to attract the audience.The timing of a viral campaign is vital for everything to gosmoothly, for example there is no point in releasing a trailer oncethe movie has already been released, it must be made while theactual film is being made, it must only be released well before thefilm so that the audience is prepared for the when film arrives. Itshould also contain when the film will be realised which willcreate excitement for the audience.
All marketing material for a film is coordinated to be released atthe same time, this is called synergy. Viral marketing are alsousing social networks to raise awareness, for example onFacebook people can actually ‘like’ a film that has not beenrealised, this will put them into a group, the group can then givestatus updates about the film which will eventually make themmore aware among the users on Facebook, additionallywebsites such as YouTube and Apple Movie Trailers allowsanyone and everyone to see trailers, even if the trailers aremeant for a certain age limit, this can make age restrictions onthe trailers difficult to follow through. Many people blog trailersthey like and this helps the film distributor generate an interestin the film. The audience become the means by which themarketing is spread and this is also cheep advertising for theinstitutions and the audience become self-targeting. I am goingto be writing two mini case studies on the viral campaigns of‘The Last Exorcism’ and ‘District 9’.
The Last Exorcism viral campaignThis film had a very unusual but very effective viral campaign;they used the social service of Chat roulette as their main way toadvertise the film. They got a pretty girl who seductively looks likeshe is about to undo her button on her top, however then slowlyand suddenly she turns into a monster scaring the gentlemen. Thevideo then flashes and shows some simple text writing whichgives the official website. This video was recorded and put ontoYouTube, and as mostly young males go onto Chat roulette it wentviral as people started to ‘tweet’ about them on twitter, eventuallythis video was seen by many young adults. The video itself wasvery entertaining as you can hear the gasps and see the faces ofthe onlookers. I think that this helped the video spread all over theinternet as people would have wanted to show their friends thehumorous video. This is the YouTube video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNSaurw6E_Q&feature=player_embedded
The film also had another viral campaign, this was a website thatpretended that the film was real, therefore giving a big sense ofrealism to the movie, Moreover the website gives informationabout demon possession which causes tension among thepeople that are looking at the website. Moreover the website hasa video of some people being possessed which createsanticipation for the movie, it also alerts the user and causes anadrenaline rush as they know this is how the movie will be. Thisis the website: http://churchofstmarks.com/
In conclusion I think that the production company’s choice to useChat roulette was successful and is a great example of a uniqueviral campaign, for my own viral campaign I would like to dosomething similar that the audience would not expect, thusdrawing them in. Although the actual film was only given three tofour stars on review websites the box office figures show me thatthe film made $20,366,613 on the opening weekend and a furthergross profit of $40,990,055, the budget of the film was estimatedaround $2,000,000. I strongly believe that the film was sosuccessful mostly due to the viral campaign.
District 9 viral campaignSony Pictures realised a ‘Humans only’ viral campaign that wasincredibly popular with the public and did a great job ofadvertising the film in a unique way.
Posters, billboards and stickers were put everywhere in publicplaces, such as onto benches and bus shelters, these posterswere comical and therefore stuck into the audiences mind. Forexample instance they read ‘picking up non-humans is forbidden’and ‘bus bench for humans only. There was also a truck drivingaround with a warning on it saying ‘public roads for humans only’this is an effective way to advertise as many people can see thetruck as it drives past leaving them confused and wanting to knowmore about the film. Eventually there was a Facebook pagecreated that also advertised the film, when it was going to comeout and some pictures of the truck. This shows ‘stealth’advertising tactics at work with the viral campaign. This is also agreat example of synergy in media, when all products arecoincided to be released simultaneously for maximum impact onthe target audience.
In a very short amount of time people had taken pictures of theposters and put them onto social media platforms which thenspread incredibly quickly. A fake public safety video was createdand put onto YouTube to encourage people to be careful and tocall a real hotline number to report if they see anythingsuspicious, this makes the film more surreal and draws theaudience in. This is the link to the video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uz3ppkPWyws
Lastly a fictional interactive website was created providingpromotional material and a countdown timer to the film’s release.This is the link to the website: http://www.d-9.com/Overall the film was given four stars with a budget of$30,000,000, on the opening weekend the film made $37,354,308and staggering gross profit of $115,502,31 making the viralcampaign I huge success, I would like to imitate a similar uniqueviral campaign for my own trailer.