With Christmas now over, things are slowly going back to business as usual in Hollywood. But now those following and creating trailers and other pieces of film marketing have some good food for thought before the holiday season ends – as Accenture and Facebook (via AdWeek) released a new study analysing ‘the art and science of movie marketing’ and the social media giant’s impact on how potential cinema-goers discover new releases.

In what should be pleasant news for fellow trailer-watchers, the study – which surveyed just over 1,000 active filmgoers in the U.S. earlier this summer – reveals that 43% of those surveyed that are between the ages of 18-34 believe that ‘trailers give away too much of the film’. While conventional thinking points to increased focus group testing scores for ‘spoilery’ trailers as the reason why studio marketers choose to reveal so much, it seems that the generational shift speculated by industry heavyweights like legendary trailer editor Mark Woollen is happening.

The importance of fresh, never-before-seen, footage in trailers is also highlighted, with the study revealing that 48% of those surveyed believe that seeing a previously-unseen promo video helps in deciding whether to see films on the big screen; along with 36% believing that seeing the same trailer or footage over and over leads them to think ‘they are the only good scenes in the movie’. With reports of the recent Avengers: Endgame trailer only featuring scenes from the opening 30 minutes of the film, this looks to be a challenge for studios counting on showing limited footage for a ‘spoiler-free’ trailer campaign.

Unfortunately on the other hand, the ‘social optimisations’ that seem to drive cinephiles crazy – like wide-screen footage being cropped to square, or worse, vertical aspect ratios, as well as the 5-second ‘bumpers’ preceding online uploads of trailers – are here to stay. Citing a 2017 study, Facebook reveals a doubled increase in intent to purchase a ticket for the film for mobile-optimised trailers, as well as a 42% increase in cost effectiveness. They also double down on guidance for trailer-makers to, for instance, favour close-ups over wide shots, including the film’s title in the first 5 seconds instead of studio logos and composing for square or vertical formats.

You can check out the full report, which features more insight on what drives surveyed audiences to the big screen and other topics, on Facebook.

Header image from The Social Network teaser 2, courtesy Sony Pictures.

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