Like any product, the main aim of a film is to make as much profit as possible. The way in which products attract their potential audiences/consumers is by advertising them as thoroughly as possible. The main ways that films are marketed are; posters, magazine articles and trailers . Each of these tools has a different role in order to attract the right people. Posters – these are placed around cinemas, on bus shelters/buses or on billboards. They need to be eye catching and suggest the genre. Magazine Articles – they need to clearly define the genre and hopefully influence the audience to want to see it. Trailers – these are the most important. They are often shown on television, but are mainly shown before other feature-lengths in cinemas. They include visual information about the film, as well as introducing the plot in more detail and introducing the characters.
Posters are used by most companies when promoting their products. They need to get the attention of their potential audiences using just an image and small amounts of text. All posters have specific conventions, but they vary depending on the product. Film posters have their own conventions; Central image Tagline Title Production Information Release Date Actors/Directors
Each of these conventions has a different role to play in order to make a successful poster. Tagline – used to suggest plot features, without ever giving out too much information. Central image – usually of an object or person of interest. Used to suggest other plot features. Title – included so that the audience knows what to look out for. Actors/Directors – certain actors or directors have credibility that would convince people to watch their films regardless of anything else. Production information – simply included to credit the production. Also gives it a more professional look Release Date – again this is simply information that is essential for the audience so that they know when the film will be in cinemas.
Both of the posters we have created include all the generic conventions. Also, as a package it is clear that they are posters for the same film. The colours used on both are red, black and white. The red and the white stand out on the black background, making the posters eye-catching. Also, the colour red has certain connotations that relate to the genre. The main connotations are – danger, blood/gore or romance. It is clear from the tagline that this is not a romantic film, therefore the red indicates danger and blood. These are common in the thriller genre, and also crime. In terms of the jobs that is intended of them, they are successful posters. They include all the necessary information needed on a poster, they are eye-catching and they clearly indicate the genre.
The cover of a magazine is very similar to a poster in terms of how it looks, and some of the conventions are the same. However, the job of a magazine cover is to attract people to the articles inside and it is the article that is going to promote the film. Title Featured Article/Subtitles Buzz Words Puffs
Again, the purpose of each of these conventions is to attract an audience. Title – the title of the magazine must relate to film. It needs to be obvious to potential readers what the magazine has to offer. Featured Articles/Subtitles – the subtitles are often headings to articles or sometimes the names of films. These help the audience know what kinds of articles are on offer before they open the magazine. Buzz Words – these are words that sensationalise particular aspects of the magazine’s features. For example; “exclusive”. They make the story more appealing. Puffs – these are small sections of text that give a brief summary of the articles.
The cover, like the posters, features all the conventions that make it a magazine cover . Featured Article/Subtitles – in this case the featured article is about ‘Fallen’, which means it is getting most of the attention from the reader. Buzz Words – “exclusive” this suggests that this is the only place you will find this article. Puffs – additional information about the article make it more likely for the readers to turn to it. Central image – an interesting image that relates to the film and therefore creates interest surrounding the meaning of the image. Title – the title of the magazine clearly relates to film. Again, the magazine cover successfully markets the film and uses all the necessary conventions.
Trailers are a short video that includes exciting or interesting clips from the film that will entice an audience. Trailer also have their own conventions that make them enjoyable, memorable and informative. Music – the music on a trailer is very important. Not only can it indicate genre (for example; a love song denotes romance/drama), but it can create a mood that makes the trailer memorable. Voiceover – often, just the images themselves are not enough to show what the film is about, so voiceovers are used to give extra information. Titles – titles, like voiceovers, are used to give extra information. This, however, does not have to relate to plot only. For example, quotes about the film from critics can be included in the trailer, as well as awards that the actors may have been nominated for. Video Clips – the video clips that are taken from the film do not necessarily have to be in chronological order. In the trailer however, they need to have some kind of meaning. It is important that the clips aren’t unnecessary because the trailer could become boring.
The music is the key part of our trailer. We decided not to use a voiceover or include any dialogue, and use the music to create an eerie and confusing atmosphere. The plot relates to feeling guilty for wrong-doings and eventually becoming disorientated and confused by these feelings. So, the music we used is slow and dramatic and comes to a powerful climax at the end of the trailer. This was done to give the audience the same feeling of disorientation and confusion as the characters. Because of the lack of voiceover or dialogue, it was important that we used titles in the video. These titles fill in any blanks that may have been left at the end of the video.
The titles include the names of the main actors and a quote from a prestigious film magazine. Since the purpose of the trailer is to promote, these were included to spread a positive message (through the quote ) and to gain a bigger audience by bringing in the fans of the actors that are involved.
There a certain editing techniques that are used in trailers that we used in ours. The different clips used in trailers are often shorter versions of the clips used in the films and in order to show that time has passed a technique called “fade to black” is used in between each shot. Not only is this to show passage of time, but it also makes the trailer lo0k more professional.
Montages are used to create a meaning. We used a montage at the end of the trailer. The purpose of using this technique was to show the downfall of the character and give the audience that feeling of confusion once more. By being confused the audience are likely to want to find out more.
So, the purpose of trailers is to promote a film by entertaining and informing any potential audience. However, it is impossible to promote a film successfully without using many different advertising tools. The posters we have created are professional – they include all the necessary conventions; they are eye-catching – they use simple colours that do not over-complicate the look of the poster; and they subtly define the genre without giving away too much about the film. The magazine cover could be improved by including a lot more information about the film on the cover; such as a critic’s quote or names of stars. However, again it successfully markets the article inside, which in turn will create more hype about the film itself. The trailer uses some conventions of traditional and professional trailers, as well as breaking some. On reflection, dialogue could improve the overall entertainment factor as well as giving more information about the film, but in terms of it’s job as a promoter it has everything that is necessary to promote a film. Going back to the original question– “How effective is the combination of the products?” , it is clear that the knowledge of good advertising is there, as well as the consideration of audience. The trailer as a product could be more professional, but in terms of a successful advertising tool – it does its job.