The trailer is a promotional film clip designed to advertise and preview an upcoming film, television show, video game, book or other form of entertainment. It is typically released to generate interest and ticket sales, akin to a movie poster. Trailers can also be created for theatrical events and concerts, or even just to promote a brand of a particular product, such as beauty products or cars.

A trailer is usually created by a team of marketing and creative professionals. It is a key element in generating buzz about the project and can be utilized for a wide range of marketing channels, including social media, websites and television. The trailer is often accompanied by a recognizable theme song or signature music cues, and may feature a cast rundown or a visual montage of powerful moments in the film.

Creating the perfect trailer takes time and effort, and the right tools can help you make it stand out. These tools include video editing software, high-quality audio, and a strong call to action. You should focus on engaging your audience with a short, captivating story, and keep the viewer interested by leaving them wanting more. A cliffhanger at the end of the trailer will also help drive viewers to your website or Facebook page to watch the full video.

Trailers are a great way to promote your film, and can be used on platforms like Vimeo and YouTube. They can help build excitement for your film and encourage mailing list signups. They should be short and snappy, and the logo of the production company or distributor doesn’t really need to be seen at the beginning. Adding an extended credits section or black frame at the end of your trailer can be a turnoff for some viewers, so avoid this if possible.

Depending on your marketing goals, you can also create shorter teaser trailers for your films or videos. These trailers are less than two minutes in length, and can be used as a teaser to your main video, or as a standalone piece. Teaser trailers can be posted on social media, or used in sponsored ad campaigns.

Trailers were first conceived of in 1913 by Nils Granlund, who spliced together rehearsal footage from a stage play to create a small promotional montage that trailed after movies shown at Marcus Loew theaters. The National Screen Service (NSS) held a virtual monopoly on the trailer market until the 1960s when auteur filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick began cutting their own. Today, there are entire companies devoted to creating and editing trailers, as well as vast websites that catalog them. The trailer has become such an integral part of the filmmaking process, that it has its own category in the Academy Awards.