Trailers Are Less Important To Film Promotion Than You May Think

Trailers are a great way of selling a movie to audiences. But they’re not the only way we get to hear about new films. And recent research suggests they’re not the most attractive promotional tool.

How important are film trailers to movie advertising

The new Ghostbusters trailer fuelled widespread criticism of the film’s all-female ghost-hunting team. But it was a small part of a wider viral environment.


Think trailers are the best way to create attention for a new movie? Thing again. Recent research from RadiumOne reveals that less than 25% of the content people share on social media in relation to film news is a movie trailer.

When it comes to content online, film trailers aren’t the most shared piece of movie propaganda. Indeed, according to marketing technology experts RadiumOne, trailers account for less than a quarter of audiences’ favoured content. Despite the industry’s attention on trailers as a way of developing interest, they actually account for a relatively small portion of shared content.

RadiumOne’s study analysed over 262,000 instances of shared content from film websites and found that movie reviews were the most popular pieces of shared content. Film reviews accounted for 27% of shared content, ahead of trailers (25%) and information about the cast (13%).

Interestingly, different genres created different interaction between social media users. Actions films get the most out of the film trailer while family films see their trailers shared far less. Reviews are relied upon for comedy while drama is less reliant on critical opinion. Information about the cast is also more important to actions films than it is to comedy.

“Whilst the trailer will always be a pivotal part of marketing films, the rise of user-generated content, online word of mouth, apps and countless ways to stream content presents a huge challenge when trying to understand what marketing channels are driving ticket sales,” says Craig Tuck, RadiumOne’s UK managing director. “Film marketers need to ensure they pay attention to the other 75% of viral content being shared that could be harnessed to drive people to the cinema rather than waiting for release on home video formats. It’s also vital to realise that the perfect mix will differ significantly by genre – a successful recipe for promoting an action film could have a very different flavour for that of a drama, for example.”

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Rory Fish has loved movies since he can remember. If he was to put together an "all time" top 10 of absolute favourites it would have to include North By Northwest, 12 Angry Men and Sunset Boulevard.

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