This may sound like a ploy to get big budgets out of our clients but one of the trailers for the latest Star Wars movie really can show you how to make the perfect marketing video. Movie trailers really are just promotional videos to make you watch the film so the principles are pretty much the same and the methods, techniques and messages can be adapted to any type of promotional video – whether its selling widgets or saving the galaxy.
To start off with, watch the video above for trailer number two for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, released earlier in 2015.
Some of the basic principles for creating an effective marketing video which Star Wars employs are looked at here.
Know Your Target Market
Its vital that you know who you are talking to with a marketing video and tailor the content accordingly. Just like any other marketing asset, knowing your audience can be the difference between engaging with the viewer or them completely ignoring what you’ve produced.
The makers of Star Wars knew that the most recent three films had left their hardcore fans disappointed and suspicious of any subsequent films. As a result the trailer hits key reference points and content that will appeal to their target market. This trailer is aimed at die hard Star Wars fans who know all the details of the films and will pick up on the references made. This is done with the opening bars of the familiar music – not the music that everybody associates with the opening/closing credits of the films – but the softer music that features actually in the films. The voiceover from Luke Skywalker immediately brings up questions – who is he talking to? Why is he talking in the present tense about Darth Vader? Finally the video shows some familiar old space ships and some new ones that Star Wars fans will be pleased to see and intrigued to discover what new developments there are.
Video Is An Audio/Visual Medium – So Use It
Many times video isn’t used to its full capacity. It might sound obvious but we are often asked to capture still situations such as a building or a picture setting. With video you can really bring things to life and use sights and sounds to stir up emotions. In the trailer there are two key elements that create excitement amongst the audience – the sight of Darth Vader’s burnt out helmet and the familiar sound of his breathing. This is followed by other familiar sounds (lightsabres etc.) that create interest, excitement and intrigue. There are, of course, also obligatory explosions and other visually stunning special effects to keep the viewer’s attention.
Leave The Audience Wanting More
One of the key elements of a good marketing video is to leave the viewer wanting more or prompt them to do some research and act upon the video. The Star Wars trailer does this perfectly with it’s end shot. The appearance of Han Solo and Chewbacca immediately leaves the audience with questions. Any marketing video can do this as long as its pitched correctly to resonate with the viewer.
Create A Call To Action
Once you’ve left the audience wanting more, you need to tell them what you want them to do. Creating a call to action is key to any marketing video as it helps with monitoring and performance of the video. It can be a prompt to contact you, buy your product, sign up to a database or anything that you require. In this YouTube version of the trailer there are several calls to action at the end including social media icons and click through links to other related material and websites. Each of these can be monitored to see the effectiveness of the video and if the call to action has worked.
The call to action also helps the trailer integrate into the overall Star Wars marketing campaign, like any marketing asset should do. Once the viewer has engaged with the video they are then directed to another element of the Star Wars marketing campaign and another channel to consume additional content.
There are many other techniques that the trailer uses but its interesting that while it might seem like a galaxy far, far away the principles that Star Wars uses are not really any different to how any marketing video for any business, industry or project should be constructed. Budget doesn’t really come into it as its all about the planning, knowing what you want to say and what you want to achieve. We can help with all of that to ensure that your video really works for you and helps your business achieve its goals.