Basically this is when a work sells itself on including a preview for a much more anticipated work. This is often done with second string titles that would fizzle out on their own. This has become less prevalent (or at least less successful) with the rise of easier video sharing and video game demos on the Internet, but still there are some fandoms dedicated enough to shell out cash for a ticket to Movie You Might Have Ignored Completely
if it means they get a chance to see just an ad for Everything You Ever Liked: The Movie
This is also done on TV shows. You get a trailer (more often called a "sneak peek") packed somewhere in the commercials (although usually at the end) for an anticipated blockbuster.
is standard procedure, where an anticipated work includes a preview for a less-hyped title, in the hope that attention will rub off on it.
- The teaser to Tim Burton's Batman appeared before prints of Tequila Sunrise, and was comprised of nothing but early footage and alternate takes that were never used in the film itself. It was so exciting that, according to most anecdotal accounts, people bought tickets just to watch the trailer, then left afterwards.
- Meet Joe Black, The Waterboy, The Siege and A Bug's Life were showing the teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. In fact, many theaters have reported SW fans buying tickets just to see those trailers and then leaving en masse.
- And to make sure you didn't leave the theater, Meet Joe Black showed it again after the credits.
- Later, the second trailer was shown just before the Wing Commander film.
- The final trailer got attached to the box office flop The Mod Squad.
- Pokemon 3 had many cinemas deny refunds in case people just came to watch the Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone trailer.
- Fellowship of the Ring was a variation of this. It was already a hit when a trailer for The Two Towers was put into the film. So many people saw it again for the trailer, even though we were anticipating the previewed film because of the piggybacking film.
- Same thing happened with Back to the Future Part II, as it had the trailer for Part III before the credits.
- The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) was advertised as being the only place to see the trailer for X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
- Similarly, there were huge billboards in the UK advertising a three-part trailer during 24: Redemption.
- Fans of Kevin Smith were known to have purchased tickets to Scary Movie 2 in order to see the exclusive Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back trailer.
- The adaptation of Stephen King's Dreamcatcher had a two-birds-with-one-stone piggybacking in that it was front-loaded with Final Flight of the Osiris, a short film from The Animatrix (released 4 months after Dreamcatcher) that led directly into (and served as a teaser for) The Matrix Reloaded.
- Bandslam, starring Vanessa Hudgens, was the launchpad for the first trailer of The Twilight Saga: New Moon.
- Similarly, in Sweden, Kick-Ass was actually advertised, in papers, with "Don't miss the Eclipse trailer!".
- Summit later used Remember Me to launch the Eclipse trailer (both star Robert Pattinson).
- J.J. Abrams has been known to do this for announcing new projects. The first trailer for Cloverfield was shown before Transformers before production even started. Same thing with Super 8 being shown before Iron Man 2 and within Portal 2.
- The Jet Li film Hero was delayed for two years in the US so Harvey Weinstein could release the trailer before prints of Kill Bill.
- Some films are even reissued solely because of this trope. Examples include: The Empire Strikes Back before A New Hope, Return of the Jedi before A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, Pulp Fiction before Reservoir Dogs and Pocahontas before The Lion King.
- The movies of Adam Sandler have been doing this lately. Just Go With It had Zookeeper (with Sandler voicing a monkey) attached to it and that movie had Jack and Jill attached. Both times, the trailer didn't really fit with the movie.
- The trailer for Machete was attached to prints of Predators due to Robert Rodriguez and Danny Trejo working on both films. Audiences were probably in for a shock when after seeing Trejo mow down Border Patrol and Hungarian bodyguards in the trailer, become the first person killed in the movie.
- The trailer for Die Another Day was attached to prints of Austin Powers in Goldmember as the result of a settlement between Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and New Line Cinema over using the name "Goldmember" (which MGM felt sounded too similar to Goldfinger).
- The only place to see an early mini-trailer for The Avengers was The Stinger of Captain America: The First Avenger.
- An odd example with Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (by Warner Bros.) and Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol (by Paramount). While the first full theatrical trailer for The Dark Knight Rises (also by WB) was attached to Sherlock Holmes, Ghost Protocol got the opportunity to show the six-minute prologue of TDKR, causing many a headache for execs at WB.
- And only select prints of Sherlock Holmes got the trailer. Most prints had either Rock of Ages and Jack the Giant Slayer attached (and the latter film underwent Trailer Delay afterward, not opening until 2013), or the first teaser trailer of TDKR.
- The teaser trailer for The Lion King (which consisted of the entire "Circle of Life" opening) was shown in theaters with The Three Musketeers and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit.
- Gravity is an inversion (the "highly-anticipated work promotes a lesser-known one" version) that is actually woven into the narrative. The radio conversation that Stone holds while aboard the Soyuz is actually connected to co-writer Jonás Cuarón's Aningaaq, a short film about a Greenlandic Inuit fisherman out with his huskies, his wife, and his newborn, unable to understand, let alone comfort the dying astronaut in space. However, this short was written deliberately to work as a companion piece to Gravity: not only does it show the other end of the poignant conversation, the seven-minute short encapsulates the same broad themes of life and death of its larger sibling —just as Stone goes over the brink of despair, Aningaaq himself isn't playing with his dogs as she believes in her film; he's actually devastated over the prospect of sacrificing his beloved, elderly husky.
- Screenings for Godzilla (2014) also included the second trailer for Christopher Nolan's Interstellar.
- The Warrior Cats and Seeker Bears book often have preview pages for the next book, being written by the same author. In fact, one of the main selling points of the summer 2012 release Enter The Clans note is that it contains a teaser for Survivors, the new (not really) Erin Hunter series, and the fifth Super Edition, Yellowfang's Secret.
- This is common in fiction; a book in a series frequently has a preview for the next book included at the end, or a preview of another book by the same author. This is usually added to paperback editions of books and done if the sequel is either already out or very close to being released.
- Often true of the inverse: a book deep in a series will include a preview for the very first book if it's something fans are likely to pick up midway through, or includes a preview of an earlier work by the same author (or an earlier book of the same genre from the same publisher). Often true of authors who have been around for a while (or have passed away) such as Robert A. Heinlein or J. R. R. Tolkien.
- Speaking of Tolkien, The Tolkien Reader was originally conceived by publishers as a way of broadening interest in Tokien's non-fiction essays by mixing abridged versions of them with some of his shorter fiction.
- Zone of the Enders was at the time of its release widely known as the free game that came with the demo for Metal Gear Solid 2. How many bought just the demo and ignored the game is hard to tell. But it got a sequel, a portable spinoff, an OVA and a TV series, so evidently some people liked the game.
- Crackdown didn't have a demo for Halo 3 (since demos can just be downloaded from Xbox Live), but it had access to the multiplayer beta. Crackdown was expected to get loads of returns after the beta closed, but that was not the case. In fact, Microsoft reported that the Crackdown multiplayer got more play time than the beta (although the actual release of Halo 3 got even more, predictably). Combined with the critical acclaim the game received, Microsoft stated they want a sequel, which they got at E3 2009. It didn't have access to the Halo: Reach multiplayer beta (Halo 3: ODST fills in the spot this time).
- Square Enix made a habit of this:
- Tobal No. 1 had a Final Fantasy VII demo disc that also included previews of Final Fantasy Tactics, Bushido Blade, and Sa Ga Frontier. It's highly likely that two thirds of the (subpar) sales were just for it, and even today Tobal is a heatedly sought collector's item for Final Fantasy fans, just for the demo that came with it.
- Parasite Eve had a demo for Xenogears and movies for Bushido Blade II, Brave Fencer Musashi, and Final Fantasy VIII.
- Brave Fencer Musashi had a Final Fantasy VIII demo. This is not dissimilar to the above Crackdown and Zone of the Enders examples, as Musashi has gained quite a reputation and cult following in the years following its release.
- They've even done this with music releases. The soundtrack for Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within includes a movie for Final Fantasy X.
- Vagrant Story had a disc with demos for, among others, Threads of Fate.
- In Europe, the PlayStation port of Final Fantasy VI came bundled not with Final Fantasy V as in America (That came with Final Fantasy IV. Chrono Trigger was left unreleased. Again.), but with a demo of Final Fantasy X, which wouldn't even work on the console the piggybacked game was made for, though both discs were playable on a PS2.
- Dragon Quest VIII included a demo of Final Fantasy XII in the US (neither series would need such a thing in Japan). This did help the game achieve gold sales in the US, probably a best for the series at the time (at least until Nintendo localized Dragon Quest IX and gave it a successful marketing campaign)
- Unlimited Saga takes this Up to Eleven, with more work actually being put into the Final Fantasy X demo than the game itself. People vaguely remember some not very good RPG that came with A PLAYABLE DEMO FOR FFX!
- A short demo for first-person shooter Area 51 was available in Mortal Kombat Deception.
- The PlayStation 2 version of Mega Man X: Command Mission included the intro stage of Mega Man X8 as a demo.
- The God of War Collection (GoW I and II remastered for the PS3) includes a voucher for the God of War III demo.
- inFAMOUS came with access to the Uncharted 2 multiplayer beta.
- They did it again: inFAMOUS 2 came with access to the Uncharted 3 multiplayer beta. It's safe to say that Sucker Punch and Naughty Dog really like promoting each other.
- Fighting Force was rereleased with a demo of Tomb Raider III.
- Borderlands got a "Game of the Year" edition rerelease with all currently available Downloadable Content and a code that allows access to the Duke Nukem Forever First Access Club, so they could be among the first to play the demo.
- Much like Halo 3 up above, the Epic Edition release of Bulletstorm on the Xbox 360 shipped with a voucher for the Gears of War 3 beta.
- Resident Evil-related examples:
- Sonic Mega Collection had the trailer for Sonic Heroes on it. Later, a few people preordered Mario Kart: Double Dash for the Sonic Heroes demo included on the preorder bonus disc (among other demos and trailers, such as bonus items added to Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword).
- The main screen for Brain Dead 13 comes with playable demos for Dragon's Lair 1 and 2 and for Space Ace.
- The 2010 reboot of Medal of Honor came with early beta access to Battlefield 3. Likewise, Medal of Honor: Warfighter comes with beta access to Battlefield 4.
- Crash Bandicoot games for the PlayStation often contained demos to upcoming Spyro the Dragon games and vice versa.
- On the day of May 28, 2011, many bronies went to their TV sets and watched Garfield: The Movie just to see the Equestria Girls commercial.
- Done In-Universe and made fun of in South Park episode "The New Terrance and Phillip Movie Trailer". The boys were attempting to watch through Russell Crowe: Fightin' Around the World, a show which none of them cared about and had others around them give deriding comments about, just so they can see a commercial preview of Terrance and Philip: Asses of Fire 2.
- The following Blu-Rays of Sony films were packaged with demos of the following Sony games:
- The Steam version of Portal 2 contains an interactive sneak peek at Super 8.
- The 2004 Star Wars Trilogy DVD set contained a demo of the Xbox version of Star Wars Battlefront.
- A Spongebob BC DVD had a demo for the PC version of Battle for Bikini Bottom on it.
- The 2-DVD set of the Spider-Man movie contained a demo for the PC movie game on its second disk.