The Brilliance Of The Star Wars Episode VII Trailers
Marketing a movie is a costly and crucial endeavor. Every trailer has to count. Every image is important. The way marketing materials are released matter. An effective marketing strategy could be the difference between Jurassic World and John Carter.
There’s a fine line between showing too much and risk spoiling the movie and not showing enough to generate any real hype. When it comes to launching a new franchise, the tendency is to unveil the big set pieces in the trailers to entice movie goers to show up on opening weekend. Some trailers go too far and show all the cards in their hand. Is this a sign of a lack of confidence? I’m not in the focus groups and early screenings so I can’t speak for the impact research has on marketing campaigns. The same can be true for established film franchises. How much is too much? Well, there’s a new blue print on how to effectively market an established franchise to new AND OLD fans. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
It’s Star Wars! Fans are going to see it. The Force Awakens is a once in a lifetime cinematic event. The teaser trailers were always going to destroy view count records and posts in the blogosphere. But they had to deliver.
In the first teaser, we meet only the new cast. It was risky but that’s what makes it brilliant. They could have shown a few closeups of Luke, Han and Leia and blown the doors wide open right off the bat. Instead they played the long game. This movie’s purpose is to setup a much larger narrative down the road. What’s the point if fans don’t care about the new characters. Ordinarily, this would disappoint fans who were salivating at the thought of a new Star Wars film with the original cast. That’s the genius of the teaser trailers. They look like Star Wars trailers, they most definitely sound like Star Wars trailers but they also gave us something new. Something mysterious.
In trailer two, we got our first glimpse of Han Solo and Chewbacca. Again, the majority of the trailer focused on new characters but fans had waited long enough. Did they release what fans think they wanted? No. It’s hard to resist the relentless thirst for spoilers. Fans always want more. Did we get it? Nope. We got one shot and it was enough. This is a NEW Star Wars movie and the marketing reflects that approach.
Episode VII’s teaser trailers are a beautiful lesson in patience and restraint for any young marketing executive to study. This is storytelling precision at it’s finest. Of course, they have the luxury of brand recognition. It’s easy to hold back when the tickets are already sold but they could have easily rushed the marketing and unveiled some of the big surprises. Their patience is preserving the theatrical experience for fans and I couldn’t be happier!
Waiting for a film as highly anticipated as Star Wars Episode VII is enough to make any fan’s brain hurt. However, this is a once in a lifetime buildup to an event decades in the making!
Whew. I’m not going to call this the best trailer I’ve ever seen but it’s up there. The first full length trailer actually unveils a bit of the story but only enough to give fans a sense of tone, time and setting.
Again, the focus is on the new cast with a brief glimpse of Leia towards the end of the trailer. What impressed me most about this trailer was the omissions. We’ve heard Luke Skywalker speak (teaser 2) but we still haven’t seen his face! (We may have seen his hand on R2D2 but that’s it!) We have yet to meet Supreme Leader Snoke played by Andy Serkis or Maz Kanata played by Lupita Nyong’o. They haven’t shown off a real concrete image of the new Starkiller base either.
In today’s world of instant information and spoilers, it’s truly a marvel that filmmakers have managed to keep so many secrets hidden. Yet still, the trailers are overflowing with incredible images and a soundtrack that will send chills through the spins of movie fans of all ages. Brilliant.
Star Wars is back very soon and I’m happy to report I really don’t know much about the story. And THAT’S the way it should be.