Stop Making Ads to Advertise Other Ads

The Guardians of the Galaxy trailer is being released tonight, and in anticipation of this two-or-three-minute-long ad, Marvel Entertainment put out this trailer teaser.

Now, it’s important to distinguish between a “teaser trailer,”  a trailer that gives away very little, and a “trailer teaser,” which is just a teaser for an upcoming trailer as opposed to an upcoming movie. That’s what the actual trailer is for.

So in other words, Marvel has released an ad to advertise another ad.

Could we please stop doing this?

It always happens around Super Bowl time too. Brands try to build up interest in their ads before the big game, and so they release ad teasers to give people a taste of what they can expect. Sometimes it works. A vast majority of the time it does not.

Again, these are ads for the sole purpose of advertising other ads, in a mélange of marketing that makes us question the very foundation of advertising itself. If ads can be made for other ads, why don’t those ads themselves get advertised? Oh, wait, they do. Because thanks to social media, brands can now hype up countdowns to the arbitrary time they’ve decided for something to go live, and can milk every ounce of squealing anticipation from the masses.

And is it possible that the full-length features the actual ads are advertising are really just advertisements themselves for action figures and video games and other miscellaneous products placed throughout the film? And in a broader sense, isn’t everything a trailer? Because if the point of a trailer is to build up people’s excitement to see this wonderful new film, then surely Guardians of the Galaxy is itself just a full-length trailer for Avengers 2.

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