Two days ago, I watched the Captain America trailer a few times and have gotten myself pretty excited about it. Despite earlier concerns about the execution of the costume design, I really enjoy Cap as a character and I really want this to be good. And the trailer does an impressive job of reassuring me that this beloved character may have a chance of being portrayed reverently. As a good trailer, it has me excited about the prospect of watching the movie it is promoting. So what’s the problem?
The problem is the relationship that fans now have with trailers, in general. We (because I am as guilty of this as anyone) treat the trailer as a gift from the moviemakers to the fans. Since the Phantom Menace, at least, we treat the release of new trailers or featurettes or even TV spots as a warm-up to the movie; a way to slip into the right frame of mind before the main event.
And guess what? Trailers are commercials. They are marketing ploys to convince pay money to ingest a product. And while we all may crave to see some clips released at Comic-Con or “leaked” footage because we’re so excited, trailers exist to take money out of your pocket and put it in someone else’s.
So, if your movie has some cool visuals, an invested fan-base, and strong original material, it is not a great feat to make an effective trailer. Iron Man 2 is an excellent example. Great cast, cool visuals, and some sweet briefcase armor and I was excited. Yet, the movie, while adequate, in no way lived up to the excitement of the trailer. Good job marketing team.
So, while I cannot go more than 5 minutes without thinking about a ricocheting thrown shield or Dum Dum Dugan with a shotgun, I am trying to train myself to treat a good trailer like what it is; an enjoyable piece of advertising. I am having mixed results.