Stop Teasing the Teasers

Picture this; I’m sitting at home, on the couch, endlessly scrolling down the endless list of Youtube videos, trying to fill the day’s void. I then see something particularly enticing, a Star Wars: Rogue One Teaser.

Hey, I think, this will be pretty good! So I settle in, get comfy, and click the link. However, I don’t regard the finer details, such as the fact that it’s 11 seconds long, and it actually says ‘Teaser Preview’ in the title. Too late, I’m already into it.

Black. Fade to title. A two second shot of some sort of Stormtrooper. And then, an announcement; ‘Trailer Tomorrow’. End video. Most advertisements are longer than this.

What the hell, I settled in for this? Is the need for Youtube revenue so great that you need a video announcement for an announcement for the actual movie? The role of the Teaser is exactly that; to tease the movie, to show a few clips from it to induce hype from the legions of fans. Often, the teasers are only teasing the full movie trailers, which is yet another stepping stone in waiting for a movie. As long as the trailers don’t show every critical plot point of the movie itself (I’m looking at you, Batman vs Superman), then it’s okay. Why go see a movie when you’ve seen everything you need to from the comfort of home?

Well, die-hard fans will want to see it regardless. So, what about the majority of movie-goers that just want to see a good movie, without identifying as part of a fanbase? My advice would be to avoid movie trailers altogether. For all of the good cryptic trailers which give away nothing, like 10 Cloverfield Lane,  you’ve got another with everything spoiled, like Terminator Genisys. It’s now gotten to the point where some of my friends avoid trailers altogether, just so they get the unspoiled experience they deserve at the cinemas.

But I’m getting sidetracked. An 11 second online video is not needed for a 30 second teaser trailer, especially if it is coming out the very next day. With online hangouts like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, you don’t need these announcements. Everybody is going to see it anyway, especially if the teaser preview is posted in the exact same place as the teaser. Hype is only required when it’s for something to be released long into the future, to maintain fanbase excitement, in case people forget about them. Dwindling excitement is not so dramatic that you need to post a video one day prior to what you’re announcing.

There is a rising trend of this though, mainly perpetrated by Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Time will tell to see if it is a trend that continues, and breaches into other movie genres. Given the current status of youtube views (3.5M for the teaser preview on Rogue One, 19M for the teaser itself), it could go either way.

What are your thoughts on the tiny teaser previews? Yes or no?

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