Trailers are advertisements for movies, television programs, or video games. Usually, this involves a clip or clips of the work in question, skillfully edited together. Sound from elsewhere will often be added: film trailers are often made before the soundtrack to the film is recorded, and voiceovers are always popular. If the work hasn't been released yet, the date of release will be included; if it has, positive reviews (real or otherwise) will often be included.
Trailers in theaters or on DVDs can last for several minutes and, if they are for films, can be quite enjoyable. Trailers aired on television are no longer than any other commercials unless the piece is a Making Of.
They do this to television and radio as well. While it is true to say that the BBC does not advertise, there is an exception to this rule - the BBC itself. A sizable chunk of the BBC's production capacity appears to be the creation of short-ish trailers telling you what's on next, what's on later, what's coming next month, what's on the other three BBC channels, what's currently on BBC radio, etc. These are played ad nauseum in between shows, and there is good evidence that programme length has suffered because of the imperative to fit as many bloody trailers in as possible. Fitting one or more trailers in just before and just after a show scheduled for a half-hour slot is also a good way to trim its length down to the 22-25 minutes required by commercial TV in the USA and elsewhere - very handy for resales!
And the prime example of the tail wagging the dog was when Radio Four did a series of The Goon Show repeats from the 1950's, comedy recorded in a time before trailers to fit the whole allocated thirty minutes. did the BBC acknowledge something special and drop the trailers to allow these to run to the full original thirty minutes? No. The shows were arbitrarily edited down to enable trailers to be fitted in at the start and finish. As Spike Milligan might have acerbically remarked, something was very wrong there...
'Trailers' are so named because they used to come after a movie. As early films presented nearly all of their credits within a lengthy establishing sequence opener, the films often finished with "The End", leaving no closing credits. With the audience still seated, the aptly named "trailers" would immediately begin, enticing audience members to return for additional patronage. Starting in the 1950s, the trailers and credits began to switch places, with trailers (now "previews") showing before the film while people were still being seated, and credits (which started to run longer and longer) appearing after the end of the film. This led to the birth of Creative Closing Credits. Only decades later did subsequent easter eggs begin to appear within, or after, the closing credits, keeping the audience in their seats for a reprise of the award bait song.
Overlaps almost completely with Coming Attractions.
Tropes relating to trailers:
- In a World...
- Moody Trailer Cover Song
- Never Trust a Trailer
- Previews Pulse
- Preview Piggybacking
- Quotes Fit for a Trailer
- Real Trailer, Fake Movie
- Say My Name Trailer
- Screamer Trailer
- Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer
- Special Edition Trailer
- Trailers Always Spoil
- Trailer Joke Decay
- Trailer Spoof