an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Movie Monday: Death at a Funeral

Posted by Rosepixie on April 19, 2010

This is a trailer for the movie Death at a Funeral, which came out last week.

This is one of the those trailers that’s so busy showing us how every character is a walking joke (except the comedian starring in the movie, strangely enough) that it doesn’t spend any time telling us what the plot is.  Or if there even is one (although it sort of seems like there is if you pay attention, it just doesn’t make any sense from what’s in the trailer).  The result is that the movie seems like a giant running joke with very little point.

So why does this trailer think we should come see this movie?  Well, they’re hoping we laughed at one or more of the jokes (which are likely chosen for the trailer specifically because they are some of the most visual, self-contained and over-the-top) and will want to laugh more.  They’re also hoping that we’ll say “ooh!  I like her/his acting/comedy/movies/whatever” and will come see the movie because an actor we like is in it.

But is a throw-away joke and an actor who’s name we recognize enough for most people?  Probably not, since movies marketed like this are rarely run-away box office successes (if you go back and watch the trailers for the best selling movies of the past few years, most don’t follow this model).  So why do marketers keep doing it?  Is it really that hard to make a good trailer for a comedy?  It seems like it must be, but I can’t fathom why that would be exactly.  Any ideas?  And does anybody know of any really great examples of good trailers for comedies?  I’d love to feature some, but I’m coming up blank on that and would love some suggestions!

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