While we wait for the arrival of the Alien: Covenant trailer before locking in the 20 Best Trailers of 2016 list (which is Part 2 of this Year In Trailers feature), we thought – why wouldn’t it be fun to branch out a bit and come up with a few categories to highlight some of the best other, not necessarily trailer, audio-visual marketing feasts of 2016 that really stuck with us.
Best TV Spot – it’s a tie!
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Breath (AV Squad)
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Legacy (Wild Card)
There must have been almost thousands of various TV spots released for the hundreds of films released this year, both in the U.S. and abroad. While there’s no way we could’ve seen all the spots for all the releases of the year, out of the major studio tentpoles this year these spots managed to really stand out. (And as you’ve likely figured, it was tough to choose just one out of these two, so we stuck with a tie.)
Wild Card’s extended piece for Batman v Superman not only rises above the pack feeling far more like a standalone trailer than a TV piece, but also carries a surprisingly emotional aspect that not even the trailers for Zack Snyder’s film had. And AV Squad’s Rogue One spot which dropped last month to coincide with the U.S. ticket sales is an all-timer, with the focus just on the iconic breath of the galaxy’s #1 villain, as the impressive new footage builds to a crescendo of the incredible reveal shot that had the audience at Star Wars Celebration London in July (yours truly included) go nuts.
Runner-up: Ghost In The Shell ‘Glitch’ Teaser TV Spots (Industry Creative)
Best Behind-The-Scenes/EPK Featurette
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Celebration Reel (Disney In-House)
While the world-at-large was likely disappointed by the lack of a new Rogue One trailer during the panel event at Celebration London in July, Lucasfilm did grace us with what is still the best behind-the-scenes featurette of the year. Disney’s in-house team took the B-roll and interview footage from the set of Rogue One and built a great piece which plays just as well as a trailer would if not better, especially on the big screen.
Runner-up: Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them IMAX Event Featurette (agency unknown)
Best Viral Piece
A Cure For Wellness – “There Is A Cure” (agency unknown)
The absolutely chilling viral ad for the film’s mysterious wellness spa was released as the first look at Gore Verbinski’s latest. Featuring a combination of stock as well as film footage, alongside dialogue and possibly even score from the film, the mysterious spot generates an unsettling impact that really keeps one coming back to it again and again…much like one would probably keep coming back to that spa for the cure in the film. Well played, Fox, very well played.
Runner-up: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Turkish Airlines Super Bowl Promos [1/2] (JAX/CP+B London/Elastic)
Best Trailer Tease/Announcement
Logan Teaser Trailer Announcement (agency unknown)
— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) 19 October 2016
Oh, those ‘trailers for trailers’. Some love them, some hate them, some love to hate them. No matter your opinion on these pieces, there’s no denying that some really are impressive, so it’s no surprise that the studio that started the trend in the first place with Prometheus and made it all arguably worse with The Wolverine would come out with the best and the most understated such tease of the year. The above Logan tease, featuring a beautiful black and white shot playing into director James Mangold’s series of monochrome stills being revealed in the build up to the trailer that came the next day, and a foreboding voiceover from Jackman, tells you everything you need to know – it’s the Wolverine’s last ride. Not to mention – neither the shot nor the voiceover feature in the trailer itself, so that’s an added bonus.
Runner-up: Baywatch (agency unknown)
Best of Super Bowl
Deadpool – “Superb Owl/Big Game Hero” (agency unknown)
Super Bowl is where most (looking at you Warner Bros.) studios tend to bring their best and loudest new looks at the upcoming blockbusters of the year. And while we had a lot of epic, thanks to the likes of Captain America: Civil War, X-Men: Apocalypse and others, Deadpool cut through all the noise with a sleek piece featuring some very appropriate jabs from the titular hero breaking through that fourth wall. The “Superb Owl” titling on the online upload is the icing on the cake.
Runner-up: Captain America: Civil War “Rivals” (mOcean)
Best of Comic-Con
Suicide Squad – “Soundtrack Remix” Sizzle (agency unknown)
The 2016 San Diego Comic-Con gave us lots of trailers and exclusive looks, a surprising amount of which have been released online. But this impressive and huge piece for Suicide Squad, designed as a showcase for the lead singles off the soundtrack album, packs a lot without giving too much away, and is an absolute joy to watch – we can imagine how the crowd reacted in Hall H.
Runner-up: Justice League Special Comic-Con Footage (agency unknown)
Best Trailer-ized Song Cover Of 2016
Ki:Theory – Enjoy The Silence [Depeche Mode], from Ghost In The Shell Trailer 1 (AV Squad)
Another film marketing trend that people love to hate is the rise moody trailer-ized covers of popular songs. We’ve had a fair share of them this year, and while some are either too obvious, unmemorable, or just plain unfitting, surprisingly this remix of Depeche Mode’s timeless classic Enjoy The Silence in the debut trailer for Ghost In The Shell is a real grower. The song itself had its fair share of great remixes; and once you get past the lack of Dave Gahan’s distinctive vocals, this rework from Ki:Theory, bolstered by its excellent use in this trailer by AV Squad, is definitely up there.
Runner-up: Clairity – Don’t Panic [Coldplay], from X-Men Apocalypse Theatrical Trailer (Create Advertising)
Craziest Trailer Of 2016 – another tie…
The Greasy Strangler – Teaser [NSFW] (agency unknown)
The Fate Of The Furious – “Rogue” Trailer 1 (AV Squad)
If you haven’t already seen the above teaser for The Greasy Strangler, get off work and do so ASAP. The less is said about this the better… And on the blockbuster side, AV Squad came out with an absolutely mad trailer for F. Gary Gray’s The Fate of the Furious – super-sized at nearly 3-and-a-half minutes, and featuring such mayhem, scale, and just plain vehicular insanity, we have no idea if the film will be able to top what they cut together here.
Runner-up: Sausage Party – “Two Worlds” Teaser Trailer (Ignition)
Agree with our choices? What are your favourite trailers, spots or featurettes of the year? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram, and be on the lookout for Part 2 of our Year In Trailers round-up, featuring the 20 best trailers of 2016, next week…