It never ceases to amaze me how often film and broadcast companies get one of their prime marketing tools so badly wrong.

The trailer is a precious opportunity to capture the audience’s imagination, whether it is a 5-second blip or a 3-minute stand-alone showcase.

And yet our film and TV screens are littered with examples of where it has gone very badly wrong.

Television companies in particular appear to be going through a particular bad phase at present of serving up trailers for new shows that rove to be an instant turn-off.

I’ve yet to watch the new incarnation of Minder on Channel 5 – with Shane Ritchie and the excellently named Lex Shrapnel as the new dynamic duo. Apart from being put off by the laziness of remaking a recent TV classic, the trailers C5 put out convinced me to stay well clear.

Whoever thought that endless shots of Shane and Lex embarking on some “comedy running” to escape rogues they had stitched up would help sell such a series probably also believes The Wright Stuff is Question Time for viewers of a daylight disposition.

Equally, if the trailers for Horne & Corden – the new BBC3 sketch show vehicle for the Gavin & Stacey stars on – were designed to draw viewers in and highlight the best of comedy on offer, then they represent epic failures.


The trailers suggested the series will be full of the type of lazy, unfunny stereotypical comedy that was on its last legs a good 10 or 15 years ago. So I didn’t bother watching last night’s opener and the reviews I’ve read so far suggest I made a good decision.

The film world is just as guilty, although the big screen lot tend to add a new twist to the trailer farce – they put the best bit of the film in the 3-minute promo so you end up watching 90 minutes of utter bilge.

Considering the marketing and production budgets these companies have at their disposal, not to mention the wealth of talent they have available, there really shouldn’t be any excuse for such trash trailers.

Also, at a time when anyone can post a 90-second video on YouTube and become a worldwide sensation overnight, the lack of innovation, imagination and understanding displayed by some broadcasters and film companies is staggering.

Then again, if they serve up drivel like the almost universally panned Horne & Corden and Al Murray’s ill-advised new series then we can hardly expect them to get a 90-second trailer right either.


3 responses »

  1. Nick Scott Donald says:

    To be fair, most of these bad trailers do give an honest picture of what to expect.
    But then again, some say honesty is an offence…

  2. Nina says:

    Interesting that the UK and the US both use the term “trailer trash”. I presume it normally applies to poor, uneducated folks and you’ve just used it in a different way?

  3. Paul Groves says:

    Nick: Does that mean you’ve watched the new Minder – are you the viewer?

    Nina: Hi. Yes it is a play on words. Some over here do use the term “trailer trash” in the same way as the US – but we also seem to have so many other phrases that have similar meanings.

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