The past few days have been a bevy of movie trailer hitting the web, intentionally and unintentionally. Along with the trailers come the inevitable memes and remixes. STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS hit weeks earlier than expected via a live streaming from the sanctioned Star Wars convention and then the BATMAN V. SUPERMAN trailer went from bootleg camcorder video to official release within 24 hours. One thing is certain; marketing is changed forever now.
This new trend of releasing a teaser for the teaser trailer has gotten ridiculous. People will release a :05 second clip of a trailer which is itself a microcosm of the entire film. The other day director Zakk Snyder did this for the upcoming BATMAN V SUPERMAN film, with an extensive marketing plan to get a precious few superfans into an IMAX theater to exclusively see the trailer on Monday.
This plan went to hell when somewhere in a south American country, someone pulled out a phone and released a cell phone video of the trailer at a test screening of said trailer. Within a day Warner Brothers went ahead and released the high resolution HD trailer online themselves because all the superfans were already watching a subpar, low quality version and even the media was describing the content.
The same thing happened to Marvel several months ago when they tried to release an AVENGERS AGE OF ULTRON trailer on TV with their show AGENTS OF SHIELD. We live in the era of “I want everything RIGHT NOW!” and thanks to sites like Youtube, we kinda can get things right away.
Lucasfilm, also now owned by Disney, had been keeping fairly mum on the new STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS. They released a scant few seconds of footage as a teaser with more than 13 months to go to release this past November. Everyone assumed that because of corporate synergy, they would release the next teaser on May 1st with AVENGERS AGE OF ULTRON. When the bi-annual STAR WARS convention called the “Celebration” was announced for April, I had a suspicion the new trailer would drop early.
I had been to the STAR WARS CELEBRATION over a decade ago for ATTACK OF THE CLONES and they did the trailer premiere there at the open of the convention in the morning. So when they were live streaming (in glorious HD no less) the open of the Celebration, I tuned in because I thought this was there the trailer would get released. I was not disappointed and as soon as the trailer finished from the live stream, it was immediately available on Youtube by itself as well.
The difference between these two trailer releases were showing how an outdated traditional film company doesn’t understand their audiences to a web savvy film director who knows exactly how to get his base riled up for his movie.
Audiences demand immediacy today and I don’t see that trend changing.