The Teaser Trailer

2012 is going to be a huge year for films with a mixture of Oscar Friendly and Big-Budget Blockbusters to look forward to throughout the year. Therefore it is about this time, a year before most of the blockbusters grace our screen that the wave of teaser trailers amass in order to whet the appetites of film fans.  Just to make sure everyone is aware, a teaser trailer is a small glimpse into the film without giving much away. It could contain little to no footage of the actual film and is used to alert the viewer to anticipate more trailers and footage coming in the following months. Their ambiguity usually is discussed again and again on fan forums to try and get any lead about the movie. One of the best examples of this was the first trailer for Attack of the Clones. Although many were disappointed with The Phantom Menace this trailer made fans crazy as they predicted what everything meant and how the story was going to play out. So much so that people would pay their admission for a different film just to see the trailer and then leave. This is opposed to the theatrical trailer which is the more traditional trailer that would be seen at the cinema, they are about two or three minutes long and contain footage of the finished film in the order of a faint narrative to get people wanting to watch the film.

In the past few weeks there have been a few trailers to grace the cinema, internet and comic conventions. This includes The Dark Knight Rises which is a perfect example of a teaser trailer. There is not much footage from the film only giving a few glimpses at shots so that one could not acquire the narrative at this stage. These shots however are enough to garner excitement and anticipation.  People are aware from this that the film is coming and thereby preparing themselves for more footage. Another example of teasing the audience is with The Avengers advertising campaign. First, the only thing to come from the film was a picture of four chairs belonging to the superheroes of the movie. Next were a few pieces of artwork shown off at Comic-Con before a short trailer with no footage of the actual film. There is only a voiceover from Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and the Avengers sign. Since Cloverfield wowed everybody with its marketing campaign and the advent of viral marketing, this teasing of the audience is usually how films are now advertised. A huge buzz is created through the snippets of information that is gathered before the theatrical trailer where fans can eventually see the film taking shape. The fact that at this stage there is usually very little footage available because the movies are still in production or need to go through post-production is why audiences can only be teased.

The point of all this trailer talk is that The Amazing Spiderman has gone against everything that its fellow superhero movies have done. As opposed to relinquishing small pieces of information every so often it has done what must be considered a theatrical trailer a almost a year before its release.  It is a very strange tactic from the marketing team behind Spiderman and could be deemed as giving away too much too early and killing any buzz for fans who like to debate rumours and different narrative possibilities. Everyone already knows that Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) will be spending most of the time through high school with Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) as his love interest. Everyone also knows that Rhys Ifans is Dr Curt Connors and therefore know the chief villain will be The Lizard. Everything seems to be revealed too early as opposed to the Avengers where nobody even knows who the villain is. Although the trailer looks good and there’s an excitement about what different approach they are going to take from Sam Raimi’s films having the trailer a year before just leaves audiences playing the waiting game and unless something amazing comes out of the future trailers people may be a little disappointed that everything was revealed so quickly.

A possible reason why they have realised this trailer earlier than expected is because of the previous very successful series of Spiderman films. Perhaps this trailer was made to  assure viewers that this is different and getting the dubious audience members early with an interesting glimpse into the new angle taken by director Marc Webb. Only time will tell whether playing your cards to your chest or showing all the footage you have will win at the box office. All the teasers so far are looking good so far and when the film is finally released if it is a good film everyone will forget the marketing campaign and enjoy it for what it is.