Marketing and film promotion includes many different components. For instance, “Films come to audiences pre-packaged as generic products through marketing material, advertising and, eventually DVD and videos” (McDonald 9). The different mediums used for film marketing campaigns made me think about how they influence an audience’s choice to watch the movie.
Romcom movie posters primarily feature the central couple. These movie posters made me think about my father’s movie store, Video Universe, who has probably 40 or 50 posters and film promotion as decorations throughout the building. When distributors were in town, he got the posters from them. Film studios used to send copies of the movie posters to different Blockbusters and Hollywood Videos to hang up in their stores to promote the upcoming film. However, he cannot get new posters anymore because there are not many movie stores left for the studios to send them out.
DVD artwork and covers are also part of the marketing material. A lot of my dad’s movie collection for his business comes from thrift stores, garage sales, and purchases from other people’s movie lots off Craigslist. Because of his interest and need to browse for movie titles for the store, occasionally, we stumble across obscure, B-rated movies he purchases for us to watch just because of the wacky DVD box art and synopsis of the plot on the back.
This idea of enticing cover art translates to streaming sites with the use of preview thumbnails for the movie. However, there is less space on the screen to display a description of the film equivalent to a DVD box art synopsis. Furthermore, fewer people would be inclined to read such a long description. Therefore, these movies depend on the short trailer, which auto-plays as one scroll over each title, to persuade people to watch. Additionally, most streaming sites curate their titles to the user based upon their preferences to help them make a choice faster.
Movies differ in the way they attract people to watch them, depending on the medium. When my dad browses through the physical DVDs and finds a film title, which he is unfamiliar with, he takes the DVD off the shelf, examines the cover art, and reads the back of the box before deciding it is not for him. In contrast, those who try to determine what to watch on streaming sites quickly scroll past the listings. They can immediately decide against watching shows or movies based on the artwork or a few seconds of the trailer. The speed at which people make decisions about what is not worth their time to watch has increased as marketing and advertising techniques adapted from physical DVDs to streaming.