Cut the BS: Movie Trailers are Too Long
I went to the movies last weekend to take in the whole experience. Expensive tickets and concessions. Annoying people talking during the movie. Fear of having to walk in front of people if I went to the bathroom. But you know what bugged me the most?
Those ridiculously long movie trailers.
I get that from a marketing standpoint the studios have an opportunity to reach their key target market—people who go to the movies—when that target market has no choice but to watch.
But, c’mon man. I timed the trailers. Each one was around two and a half minutes. Total air time of all the previews was more than 20 minutes. Seriously? 20 minutes of scenes from soon to be released movies that played prior to the movie we came to see. And many previews show the money shot and spoil the ending or deliberately give the perception of another story line.
That’s taking advantage of the target audience. It’s BS Marketing and no better than telemarketers bugging us at all hours or direct mail pieces packing our mailbox.
Marketing other movies to us is part of the game and could be good business. But 20 minutes of previews leads to Movie Fatigue. We become agitated before the movie even starts. What could the studios do to reach a key target audience without taking advantage of the situation?
- Simplify the message: Good story tellers make their point quickly. The preview should whet our appetite and leave us wanting more. Make them shorter.
- Less is More: 20+ minutes of previews is absurd. Pick 5 or 6 trailers and move on to the movie we came to see. Trying to reach every target market by showing so many trailers is the equivalent of watching 10 minutes of TV commercials in a row.
- What’s the Big Idea? Help us understand the main theme without giving it all away in the preview.
Going to the movies has been in decline for years because of other viewing and entertainment options. The studios need to make the experience better, not worse. Cut the BS by cutting the previews.