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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Movie Trailer Effectiveness

ShowHype: hype it up!
First off, I'd like to throw a shout out to Chaseblogger and thanks for the plug I got on his blog!

Movie trailers.. either you love em or you hate em. I personally love em. I love seeing what new movies are going to come out and get an idea of what I'm in for, or what to avoid. A website that always has great movie trailers is Apple. Now I know a lot of people actually plan what time they go to the movies by when the trailers will end. I never understood this! Trailers are an important part of seeing a movie! There is the other end of the spectrum also. Anybody remember Wing Commander? Nope, but some people remember that there was a trailer for Star Wars: Episode 1 before it! Now I wasn't working at the movies then, but I heard that some theatres actually had to make sure people weren't buying tickets just for that purpose. Funny huh?

Now what made me think about this topic?

Well recently a co-worker and I were discussing trailers, and the difference between Red Band and Green Band trailers. What is the difference, you might ask? Well, here's what Wikipedia's article has to say about it:
A green band is an all-green graphic at the beginning of the trailer, usually reading "The following PREVIEW has been approved for ALL AUDIENCES by the Motion Picture Association of America," and sometimes including the movie's MPAA rating. This signifies that the trailer adheres to the standards for motion picture advertising outlined by the MPAA, which includes limitations on foul language and violent, sexual, or otherwise objectionable imagery. Trailers that do not adhere to these guidelines may be issued a red band, (which used to be blood red) which reads "The following PREVIEW has been approved for RESTRICTED AUDIENCES ONLY by the Motion Picture Association of America," and may only be shown before an R-rated, NC-17-rated, or unrated movie. (The Amityville Horror (1979 film) carried this banner[1]). A yellow band is a yellow graphic that reads "The following PREVIEW has been approved ONLY for AGE-APPROPRIATE internet users by the Motion Picture Association of America" (for example, the trailer for Halloween). The MPAA also mandates that trailers not exceed two minutes and thirty seconds in length, and each major studio is given one exception to this rule per year.
Does this make a huge difference in the film's appeal? Well I'm going to take a recent example where I think it did, with Resident Evil 3: Extinction. First, here is the green band trailer:

Makes the movie look pretty tame. I mean, you can tell that there are some action sequences and it gives you an idea what the movie will be like, but wait. Here is the red band trailer: Keep in mind that it may not be appropriate for all audiences.. you have been warned.

For those of you who watched it, there is quite a difference in the two huh? I had already planned on seeing the movie before, but after seeing the red band trailer, I knew I would see it, because it seemed so much more exciting. Weird how different those two trailers are huh? Most theatres won't be caught dead playing red band trailers, since there are green band trailers out there which already cause complaints with parents and others. However, I feel that when used in the right setting, red band trailers can be extremely effective!

What do you guys think? If you watched them both, which do you think would be better for the movie's promotion? Sorry I don't have an example of a yellow band trailer to show...

8 Comments Posted!:

Deadpoolite said...

Do me a favour and I am begging you as a fan of the Resident Evil games. Never, never mention the Resident Evil movies again...

I am going to watch it because I am naturally (albeit stupidly) attracted to all things Resident Evil but they could have done so much more with this property it hurts...

And yes I am joking:) (the movies do suck though, lol)

joen05 said...

Yes they have been crappy but it looks like they "might" redeem themselves with this one.. at least according to that red band trailer..

Deadpoolite said...

There is no redemption in my book. There were some rumours that there is going to be another Resident Evil franchise closer to the games (they 'll probably use the name Biohazard I am assuming which is the original name of the franchise).

I guess I cant be objective on this since I love the series of games:)

Action wise it looks cool compared to the previous two lacklustre efforts. I just would have liked them to use another name or something,lol!

Daszzle said...

I freakin' love movie trailers. I too am an avid APPLE watcher and often pride myself in discovering movies there that have gotten little TV coverage. I'm with you... I simply don't understand people who arrive in time to miss the previews of whats' to come. They're simply not hard-core enough I think.

Kayla said...

Hmm, interesting about the different trailer types. Now, I have a question for you - what do you make of the "Resurrecting the Champ" trailers?

I've been seeing two very different ones on television. One portrays an inspirational story where a reporter gets his dream story and a boxing champ gets his glory. Then, there's another that adds a deception/suspense element to the mix, adding a lot of intense music and making it almost seem like an action or thriller move (which I'm pretty sure it isn't).

It leaves me thinking that either they don't know what type of movie it is (inspirational or suspense) or they're lying to me, both of which turn me off.

A quick look at imdb reveals it to be a bit of both, but why take two completely different approaches with the trailers? Seems kinda misleading...

Deadpoolite said...

See, noone gives a toss about the Resident Evil movie ha,ha,ha,ha,ha. Two people commented after me and noone even mentioned it, lol!

I think this argument is dead and buried:)

But yeah, different types of trailers do affect perceptions on the final version of a movie. Although, I cant see how you can compare a teaser trailer which simply wants to raise awareness on a movie far from release, to a full scale trailer that has to sell the movie close to the release date.

DP out!

joen05 said...

@DP I hadn't realized that they were different trailer types, I was just trying to show how different the content is between the two, but you are right about that also.

@Kayla, I'm guessing they are trying to cover all the possible audiences that would want to see that movie by showing different types of trailers. Kinda like when Pearl Harbor was geared towards guys....

Paul Nicholson said...

I liked the teaser/green trailer much more myself. But I don't go in as much for the super-gross horror genre, so that is easily explained. The second looks like it certainly gives a more accurate picture of what the movie will be.

I think generally speaking, for me, I can take more language/violence/sex in the context of a movie than I can when it is thrown at me in 2 minutes. In that limited context I don't like it and generally will avoid it. It seems too gratuitous.

But in general I tend to like teaser trailers more than full trailers. Give me a hint about the movie, but don't show me too much. So many movies these days (Episode 1 was a perfect example) give away the entire movie in the trailer. I've actually started avoiding trailers for movies I know I'll want to go see.