Thirty Reasons People Watch A Movie Trailer

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It’s the week after Thanksgiving, and we are now in one of the busiest seasons for going to the movies. Not surprisingly, online movie trailers are seeing a lot of action in the last ten days.  Tracking trailer plays is what all of us who market movies, or put movie trailers on our website or app do. We all want to know what’s hot this week, and what’s going to be the next number one movie.  So we thought this would be a good time to ask “What makes people watch movie trailers?”  Why ask this you say? Because the more we understand the situations in which people watch movie trailers, the better we’ll understand how to interpret the trailer plays we get.  So we’ve worked up a white paper on the subject.

How many reasons can you think of that someone would watch the trailer?  Here are ours:

New movie, new trailer, first watch.

  1. In the theater while trailers for new movies play
  2. Just killing time watching movie trailers online while they wait for someone/something
  3. Looking to watch a movie soon, and checking out all trailers on local theater site
  4. Have heard of the film,  are curious, look for trailer online
  5. Familiar with an actor, director, writer, or genre of the film
  6. Familiar with the film franchise, have never seen any of the movies, but want to feel ‘in the know’  (“What’s a Smaug?”)
  7. Big fan of the film franchise (“I am Lord of the Rings!”)
  8. Not a fan of the franchise, but know someone who is
  9. Watching because they like movie trailers
  10. Watch because it’s featured on a movie trailer site
  11. Watch because there was a link to the trailer in an online newsletter
  12. With a friend who says ‘watch this trailer’ and hands over a phone or tablet

Same movie, same trailer, second watch  

  1. Found the trailer entertaining
  2. Got interrupted the first time
  3. Trying to determine the suitability for a child (“Snow White and the Huntsman” or ‘Mirror Mirror”?)
  4. Trying to determine the suitability for a date  (She loves Chris Hemsworth. “Thor” or “Rush”?)
  5. Trying to determine the suitability for parents, grandparents, uncles, other relatives
  6. Showing the trailer to a friend or family member who hasn’t seen it yet
  7. Couldn’t decide if they are interested after the first watch
  8. Confirming it’s the movie they want before buying tickets (I think it was called Red something.)

Man-using-smartphoneSame movie, different trailer, first watch

  1. Big fan and watching everything related to the movie ( Go Katniss!)
  2. Can’t remember much about the title, so checking out new trailer (Who is Llewyn Davis again?)
  3. Had decided they weren’t interested, but then had a friend say they were going
  4. Read something about the movie that made them interested (Benedict Cumberbatch is in it?)
  5. Don’t intend to see, but showing the trailer to someone who does

Same movie, different trailer, second watch

  1. Want to see, and trying to convince someone else to see it too using this trailer (You’ll love it – Chris Hemsworth is in it!)

Same movie, any trailer, already seen movie and trailers

  1. Loved the movie, and might see it again
  2. Reliving scenes from the movie
  3. Watch trailer before tweeting, posting about the movie ( I always post something on Flixster about movies I watch.)
  4. Trying to talk someone else into seeing it again

Our list adds up to 30 different situations in which someone would watch a movie trailer.   So, can you think of some other situations in which people will watch a trailer?

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