an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Posts Tagged ‘trailer’

You Again: Betty White Saves the Day

Posted by Rosepixie on June 21, 2010

This is a trailer for the movie You Again.

This is one of those trailers that gives you a situation rather than a plot and you’re sort of left wondering if the whole movie is just the situation from the trailer drawn out longer or if there is actually more plot and for some reason we just aren’t getting shown what it is.  The problem is that both types of movies exist and one type really works (the type with a plot) and the other usually doesn’t (the type that’s just a situation drawn out for an hour and a half).  So how are we supposed to know from this trailer if the movie is of the first type, and thus more worth seeing?

Luckily for this particular movie, they had Betty White and while the people who made the trailer may not have made the most compelling trailer for the first two minutes and fifteen seconds or so, the last clip with her was brilliantly chosen.  It stands on it’s own, is surprisingly funny and showcases a humor and actress that we haven’t seen throughout the rest of the trailer.  She may not have completely saved this trailer or even made the nature of the movie any less confusing, but Betty White’s brief moment of humor at the end there made the movie more appealing and memorable and that just might be enough to get a few more people to see it than otherwise would have.

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Movie Monday: Killers

Posted by Rosepixie on June 14, 2010

This is a trailer for the movie Killers.

What bothered me most about this trailer was that it didn’t tell us the major point of the movie (that the guy is a spy or something like it) until more than half way through the trailer!  I have trouble believing that the movie is divided that way, since a movie that is a romantic comedy until a little beyond the half-way point and then turns into a guns-explosions-and-car-chases action comedy doesn’t sound like the most balanced or enjoyable movie (and Hollywood likes things to fit into neat little genre boxes and that, clearly, doesn’t do so).

So why does the trailer portray it that way?  If it’s an action comedy, which is what I’m guessing it actually is, why is the trailer mostly focused on the romantic meeting and getting together part at the beginning?  That kind of feels like a trailer for Betwitched that spent half it’s time focused on how Samantha and Darren met and fell in love and then more than half-way through told us that Samantha was a witch and showed some clips of her trying to use, but also hide, her powers.  See the problem?  It wouldn’t really be a trailer for Betwitched, it would be a trailer for the opening sequence of the first episode of Betwitched.

I don’t want a trailer to tell me the whole movie before I go and see it, but I do want it to give me some idea of what I’m getting into.  This doesn’t feel like it’s doing that, since it left me wondering what I actually should expect from Killers – a romantic comedy that happens to have some guns, or something more like Mr. and Mrs. Smith which was a spy/action movie that happened to have some romance in it.

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Movie Monday: Waking Sleeping Beauty

Posted by Rosepixie on May 31, 2010

This is a trailer for a documentary that is out now about the Disney animated movie making team from the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s.  It’s called Waking Sleeping Beauty.

I think that this trailer does a great job.  It starts out with one of the most famous scenes from one of Disney’s most famous movies (and the movie that really started their revival at the point in time this movie focuses on), which gets their audience engaged and interested right off the bat.  Then the trailer shows some of the most recognizable and famous of the people who worked there at the time (John Lasseter, Tim Burton, etc.) and shows the team having fun and working on some of the movies we tend to remember best.

This trailer really plays on Disney nostalgia, but it also doesn’t shy away from the fact that they were in real trouble at the time and that their movies were seriously flopping (the line about how they lost to the Care Bears movie was especially good).  The footage isn’t fantastic, but supposedly a lot of the documentary is like that because that’s what they had to work with – home video quality footage.

Most of the documentary trailers I watch are either too boring to promise too much (I’m sorry, but it’s unlikely that watching a documentary about the lifespan of whales is going to be a revelation of some kind for most people, even if it’s an amazing documentary on the topic).  This one is engaging and honest about its topic.  I think that they did a great job with it.  They made me want to watch the movie both to learn more about how they did manage to go from making movies that tanked to blockbusters that are still ranked among favorites constantly and to see just what it was like to work there and make movies for Disney.  This isn’t something I thought I’d be especially interested in, but the trailer managed to pique my interest in a way that most documentary trailers don’t.  I wish that more were able to do that.

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Movie Monday: Prince of Persia

Posted by Rosepixie on May 17, 2010

This is a trailer for the upcoming movie Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

The visual part of this trailer is pretty typical for an action movie trailer – shots of the main characters, a few brief clips of places, and lots of action clips that move almost too fast to really show much of anything other than that there’s action in the movie.  And the movie looks very pretty.  Great sets with elaborate, crumbling buildings for the hero to try and avoid being crushed by, soaring Persian temples and exotic fantastical costumes.

But that’s not what I primarily noticed about this trailer.  The main thing I came away with from this trailer was that almost no one but the Princess said anything and she talked throughout the entire thing.  Now maybe she does sort of narrate the movie, but the dialog was so constant in the trailer that it almost got annoying.  There’s a point at which there’s just too much information to really take in and you have to wonder if it’s all necessary.  Her voice is beautiful and pleasant to listen to, but did we need it running over all of those action sequences?  And why didn’t the hero himself get to talk?

I don’t think that the voice over seriously hurt this trailer, but I do think that the trailer would have been improved if they had cut back on it a bit.

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Movie Monday: The Good, the Bad and the Weird

Posted by Rosepixie on May 3, 2010

This is a trailer for a movie that came out in Korea in 2008, but is coming out here in the United States this year called The Good, the Bad and the Weird.

Ok, so… this trailer definitely lives up to the movie title.  I found it a little odd that it seemed to focus so much on the “weird” guy (I wish we’d heard any of their names), but since he’s definitely the most colorful, I suppose I can understand that choice.  The movie is supposed to be set in the Manchurian desert in the 1930s, but it definitely has a strong steampunk feel.

I like how different “scenes” are broken up with the narration text and shots of the map.  It actually works very well for the flow of the trailer and to give more of a feel to the movie.  It also helps break up the frenetic action, since most of the movie segments chosen for the trailer are highly busy action sequences with lots of gunfire, fast motion and fast-changing camera angles.

After reading a description of this movie I was pretty sure I wasn’t interested in it, but after watching the trailer, I think it might be a fun movie to watch.  It’s clearly not a serious film, but it looks like an entertaining and quirky movie that could be fun to watch.  This trailer does a good job of conveying that sense of fun and of portraying the slightly unusual Asian steampunk feel.

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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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Movie Monday: Suck

Posted by Rosepixie on April 5, 2010

This is a trailer for the movie Suck and was pointed out to me by a friend of mine.

I generally dislike vampires.   I don’t think they’re sexy or romantic or alluring.  They are creepy and undead and murderers.  Sorry, but that’s not attractive.  I think that’s part of why this movie trailer works for me – it kind of makes fun of the “vampires are sexy” thing and pushes the fact that when you fantasize about them you have to pretty much ignore the gross blood-sucking part away right into your face.

The shot of the girl (sadly, she is the token girl, which is annoying) performing with her hair flowing and light around her so that she looks almost magically pretty feels kind of like a cheap shot at the sparkling vampires of the Twilight Saga.  All of the various celebrities popping up in odd roles makes the movie appear even more intriguing (and assures the audience that it will have a fantastic soundtrack, no matter how bad the fictional band in the movie might be).

This trailer does a great job setting out what the tone of the movie will be, what it’s about and what kind of celebrity appearances you can expect.  It looks fun, silly and entertaining.  I think this trailer does a great job.  I have no idea if the movie will be so good, but at least they did a great job on their trailer!

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Movie Monday: Confucius

Posted by Rosepixie on March 22, 2010

This is a trailer for the movie Confucius, which was only released in Asia as far as I know and caused much conflict in China where the government pushed the very popular Avatar out of the theaters to get people to see it.  I have no idea if it’s going to be released here or not, but I found the trailer interesting.

The trailer of this movie is very sweeping and cinematic, which seems odd for a bio-pic about a man who led a very quiet and simple, albeit extremely influential, life.  This also appears to take Confucius to court and to war and I’m not really sure who the girl is, but his life is actually pretty well documented, all things considered, and he wasn’t a military man or a statesman.  He was a philosopher and teacher.  The beginning kind of shows that, but it pretty quickly moves away from that idea.  My first thought was that perhaps this was simply the trailer trying to be exciting and not representing the movie very well, but some internet research suggests that the movie actually does portray Confucius as a diplomat and military strategist.

This trailer is long and, worse, feels that way.  It is pretty, but not gripping.  I didn’t find myself wrapped up in it, wanting to know what was going on or even caring about the people involved.  Mostly I found myself wondering how long it was going to go on about half way through!  That’s not a great strategy for a movie trailer.  Length isn’t a problem if you keep your audience engaged, but it is one if they aren’t interested.

So what did you think?  Did you find this trailer interesting or engaging?  Did it make you want to see the movie?

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Movie Monday: Alice in Wonderland

Posted by Rosepixie on March 8, 2010

I’ve already looked at several posters for the new movie version of Alice in Wonderland, so now I wanted to look at some of the trailers.

These are two very different trailers for this movie.  The first makes it seem to be very like the original book (albeit with some very queer additions and some parts pulled from the sequel, Through the Looking Glass, but that isn’t uncommon).

I actually wonder, from seeing these trailers, if the scene of with her in the very pale blue little-girl length dress falling down the rabbit hole is actually showing us her original journey (a flashback, perhaps?).  The second trailer makes it clear this is a second trip to Wonderland and implies that Alice is older, so the little-girl length dress would seem inappropriate if she’s grown up.  And if she’s returning, why does she go through the whole growing/shrinking/being confused thing that she clearly is with the bottle and the key and the table again?  Didn’t she learn the first time how it works?  If she didn’t, that doesn’t bode well for my opinion of Alice. [update: I’ve seen some screen shots that suggest that she is, indeed, grown-up while wearing this dress, so I have no idea why it is shorter than I would expect (every other woman in the scene appears in long gowns) or why she’s doing the bottle/key thing again.  *sigh*]

The second trailer gives us a much better idea of what this movie is actually about.  It describes the political state of affairs in Wonderland and why they need (or think they need) Alice.  Personally, I think that makes the second trailer much better.  While the first trailer fells more like Alice in Wonderland, it also feels deceptive.  I wouldn’t want to go into this movie expecting the story I know and find that it’s something completely different.  I know that the people who made the trailer probably liked the idea that some people might come expecting a retelling of the story who otherwise wouldn’t be interested in a “sequel” of sorts, but I still think it’s a bad idea.  It seems more likely to generate ill-will than to help.

What do you think?  Do you want the trailer to give you some idea of what you’re going to see or is it ok if it’s kind of deceptive just to get people to buy tickets?

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My Heart is Like a Zoo: How Many Hearts?

Posted by Rosepixie on February 28, 2010

This is a trailer for the book My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall.

I love this trailer.  Picture book trailers are hard because it’s too easy to just read the book and too boring to just talk about it.  So how do you make it interesting, but still leave something to be discovered?  This trailer does a great job.  It presents a number of images from the book and cleverly animates their transitions so that they seem to almost morph into one another.  It not only allows us to see how beautiful the book is and how clever the pictures are, but it makes us want to see more and to figure out how to make more animals out of only heart shapes.

This is well worked to highlight the illustrations and their intricacy as well as to focus on the theme of the book itself.  It is paced to appeal to young children as well as adults, which is great, since the book is one that will likely be shared with young children.  I love seeing ads that actually play to the intended audience like this when most picture book ads play to adults.  Kids are consumers too, remember.  It may be adults paying for the book, but it’s often kids driving the purchases!

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