Last week I reviewed a trailer that relied heavily on gaming appeal. This seems to be another of the same sort, except this uses classic techniques, too. Check it out!
First, I have to admit that the last “sea adventure” I experienced was The Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and the primary reason I watched those was because of the casting, not the subject matter. In short, a novel about the sea is something of a hard sell for me.
The trailer starts with a disclaimer that says it’s not actually affiliated with World of War Craft, so I’m assuming some of the images were captured from the game. The animation is certainly game-like.
Next, we hear a gravelly sort of voice saying, “Never trust the sea.” It sounds ominous, but my initial reaction is “Duh!” I’m not sure that part really works, but it does set the tone. Then, we get a flash of the publisher and a place to find more information.
Adventurous music begins. I should note here that the author’s credits (a book title and other information) suggest humor, so there seems to be an implication that the tone of the trailer is mock-serious, not genuinely serious.
Now, the narrative begins. This is the classic approach. You have a narrator pitching the story by showing us glimpses of theme, character, and plot through the narration. You also have game-like animation to add visual appeal.
Then, there’s another voice with a more practical marketing pitch—how to access the book.
As I said, a sea adventure is a hard sell for me, and the allusions to humor make it an even harder sell. The impression is that, though the tone of the trailer is serious, that it might be mock-serious, because of the author’s (presumed) history of writing humor. None of this really appeals to me, but all of that is a matter of personal taste.
I would say this trailer works. It’s got enough of all the motivating characteristics of a good trailer and it’s done fairly well (the balance of sound is a bit off, though; I had to put on headphones just to hear the voice). If you’re into this kind of thing, then I’d suspect the trailer would be effective, therefore the combination of classic narration with contemporary animation works to pull a trailer together.