think of ads as movie trailers

brand-as-business bit:   Here’s a quick add to my previous critique of this year’s Super Bowl commercials.

Making a Super Bowl ad involves a level of innovation, strategy, and skill that rivals what goes into making the advertised product itself.  So it’s helpful to see what can be learned from those in a similar business of creating desire:  movie trailers.

An article from Bloomberg Businessweek couple of months ago discusses how making movie trailers has become as important, rigorous, and competitive a business as making films themselves:

Trailers have begun to resemble tone poems selling a taste of how a film will feel rather than showing audiences everything they will see.  Mark Woollen, award-winning trailer editor, explained his approach:  “What we felt from the movie, that’s the big thing, and seeing if we can communicate that in two minutes…One of the things to figure out is at what point do we leave off, where you’ve ramped up the anticipation enough to do that.

Marc Weinstock, president of worldwide marketing for Sony Pictures, said: “We don’t want people to think, “Maybe I’ll see that movie the second weekend.’ We want that trailer where people go, ‘I have to see that movie now!’

The key to success and survival…is to constantly defy convention.  Last year’s innovation quickly becomes this year’s cliché.

[all emphasis mine]

So movie trailers – and perhaps ads – are about conveying emotion, creating anticipation that prompts an immediate response, and doing something completely new and different.

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