Right now, millions of Twilight fanatics across the country are flocking to the web in order to obsessively watch footage from the latest film in the lucrative teen vampire franchise.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon, the sequel to last year’s teen smash, debuted its first trailer (see below) Sunday night during the MTV Movie Awards telecast, which presented Twilight with five awards, including Best Movie. The trailer is also now playing in HD at MySpace.com/trailerpark. New Moon, starring Kristin Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Dakota Fanning, will hit theaters November 20.
Say what you will about print advertisements and online banner ad campaigns. A rip-roaring movie trailer remains the best way to get audiences buzzing about an upcoming film.
In March 2008, Paramount released the first peek at Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull online, drawing more than 4.1 million downloads on Yahoo! Movies in just one week. Skull went on to draw mediocre reviews and fan disenchantment, and yet it still raked in $317 million domestically.
But where is the best place to deposit the latest teaser trailers and film snippets?
Bobby Tulsiani, a senior analyst Forrester Research, says studios should spread their trailers far and wide for maximum impact.
“The more places it’s at, the easier it is to find for consumer,” says Tulsiani, whose company studies technology and consumer-based research trends.
Trailers perform well on YouTube and MySpace as well as portals geared toward film fans like Yahoo! Movies, Fandango and IMDb, Tulsiani says.
But some online sources are better than others, and it often depends upon the film in question.
For a Twilight sequel, MySpace.com makes perfect sense given its young, highly social audience, he says. The folks at Paramount would be wise to duplicate the Twilight campaign for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, he adds, since it targets a similarly plugged in demographic.
A social media hub like MySpace offers more than just online real estate. It can tweak its background template to match up with its latest ad buys. For last year’s The Dark Knight, that meant additional bat-branding on the front page.
“That really drives your message home,” he says. “Most of [the other web sites] don’t offer something so innovative.“
Andrew McGraime, vice president of interactive marketing with Magnolia Pictures, follows the “more is better” approach when it comes to sharing his company’s trailers with the public. And that means targeting both traditional and cutting edge outlets.
“We often premiere our trailers on TV on the same day that we premiere them online. This allows us to reach the widest audience possible and make the biggest splash for our films,” McGraime says. “In this fragmented media marketplace it is essential to utilize different forms of media to reach your core target.”
When a Magnolia feature like The Great Buck Howard or Surveillance is ready to hit theaters, the studio focuses its trailer premieres on film portals like Apple Trailers, Yahoo! Movies, Hulu and Moviefone.
“Not only do these launches garner millions of views on the premiere site but also they become viral and reach millions more across the web,” he says.