from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A trailer is a video clip composed of a few passages from the original work, usually with a short running time, which is used to advertise a cinema or television film , a computer game or other publication.

The word comes from the English trail . In the past, trailers were actually shown after a main film as a preview of the future film program. The teaser is related to the trailer, but its placement precedes it by days, weeks or even months .

Fields of application

movie theater

Cinema trailers that announce major Hollywood productions and are now shown before the main film are often produced so lavishly that they themselves are announced weeks before their premiere and are expected by the fans. In the US , for example, movie theaters were literally blown up when the first trailers for Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace premiered. Often the hall was empty again at the beginning of the main film.

It is noticeable that trailers are usually produced before the actual film is finished and therefore sometimes contain scenes or pieces of music that do not even appear in the finished film. The synchronization of the trailers is often incorrect or at least deviates from the final version of the film for similar reasons.

Separate from the trailer is the teaser , a first short advertising film for a film that is made before the trailer . Usually there are no film excerpts in the teaser, but mostly material specially made for the teaser, which is supposed to arouse the audience's curiosity about the upcoming film (English: to tease ).

A short film form also seems to emerge, in which trailers are produced without an associated film and e.g. B. be disseminated via the Internet (see the article on the film Grindhouse ).

In Germany, trailers are checked by the FSK . The release may differ from that of the actual movie. There are also cases where trailers received a higher rating than the advertised film. In the US, is to identify Age rating between so-called " Red-band trailer " that are not approved for children or young people and contain explicit violence, and safe for younger age groups differed "Green Band trailer."

PC and video games

Trailers, which are used to preview a computer game , are compiled with scenes from cutscenes and from the game itself, which should give the viewer an insight into the game and present it as positively as possible.

Trailers are now a popular medium that is not only used by large branches of industry. In the field of PC games, various private programming groups also like to use a trailer for their upcoming game or mod developments .

In Germany, trailers for video games are checked by the USK .

watch TV

On television, trailers indicate upcoming programs before or after the television commercials . In terms of media law, these trailers are considered self-promotion and are not taken into account when calculating the advertising times (Section 16 (4 ) of the State Broadcasting Treaty ).

If a film with an age rating from 16 or no youth rating is advertised on television with film excerpts, this may only be shown at the times when the advertised film itself could be shown. An exception are so-called still image trailers, which are only produced with still images and audio from a film.


The theater is increasingly using the trailer as an advertising medium. Trailers for current performances are published on Internet platforms such as YouTube or the theater's own website.

As early as 1987 , the Theater an der Ruhr had three productions by Roberto Ciulli : Dantons Tod , Gott and Der kroatische Faust adapted by the film director Hans Peter Clahsen and used as a so-called movie theater trailer for advertising in the cinema.

When adapting stage productions, the challenge remains that the switch to the highly technical, audiovisual medium should not contain any effective promises that ultimately disappoint the theatergoer who is motivated by the original performance.


On the radio, trailers announce contributions on special topics and special programs. Listeners are also informed about transmission frequencies and times.


The term Buchtrailer comes from the American designations "book trailer" or "book video". The name is borrowed from cinema trailers. Book trailers are short advertising films commissioned by publishers for books, similar to trailers for cinema and television productions. Your job is to announce new releases. They serve to inform the readers and are intended to encourage the purchase of the advertised book by conveying the most important information emotionally and authentically in the shortest possible time. While around ten book trailers were produced in German-speaking countries in 2005, this number was already more than 500 videos in 2010. So far, no book trailer aesthetic of its own has established itself. The creative spectrum ranges from filmed book covers, recorded author readings, animated text and images to book trailers that work with real actors.


As with the scenes shown, it often happens that the music used in the trailer does not appear in the film itself or on the following soundtrack CD.

In this sector in particular, a number of well-known companies have emerged that produce specially tailored tracks for each trailer. It is not uncommon for entire orchestras and / or choirs to be used. In contrast to film music, composers have a maximum of 1–3 minutes for trailer music. Many mood changes are usually accommodated within a track. In extreme cases, according to the main producer of IM, this is 5–8. Therefore, this type of music is always special. All emotions presented are presented exorbitantly in order to achieve maximum effect within a short time.

further reading

See also

Wiktionary: Trailer  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Still Image Trailer - . In: . ( [accessed November 29, 2016]).
  2. a b Ebenau, Katharina (2011): "When books learned to walk ..." Book trailers as a marketing tool in the publishing industry. In: Stephan Füssel (Ed.), Gutenberg Yearbook 2011, 86th year. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, pp. 290-298. ISSN  0072-9094 , p. 292.
  3. Klaassen, Klaas (1997): "Tomorrow, Immediately, Now ..." - Trailer as the driving force for the program. In: Kurt Hickethier and Joan Bleicher (eds.), Trailer, Teaser, Appetizer: On the aesthetics and design of program links on television. Hamburg: Lit, pp. 217-240. ISBN 38-2583-238-4 , p. 218.
  4. a b Koopmann, Lars (2010): More sales thanks to the book trailer. Interview with Lars Koopmann ( Memento from January 7, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  5. Verna, Sacha (2010): Visual appetizers