Think of the last time you walked out of the theater with a group of friends or family. Those conversations usually go like this: everyone has a different opinion about the most exciting moment, the most compelling character, the funniest or saddest or scariest scene. The same thing happens when we watch a movie trailer and decide to go see the movie or forget about it. That’s why big brands like Marvel can’t take this decision-making process lightly (a moment that is emotional, deeply personal as well as cultural).
As the Marvel Cinematic Universe expands, audiences are excited to see what’s next, fall in love with more characters, and engage with surprising new plots. But to sustain this audience excitement, it’s important to use innovative data collection methods to optimize their marketing in different countries and understand the nuances of how different audiences react to trailers and promotionals, with the goal to increase the chances of them seeing the movie.
This is the case for Marvel’s Eternals, the upcoming superhero movie that follows a group of immortal aliens (portrayed by an incredible cast of superstars) as they step out of hiding to protect the Earth from the Deviants. The film will be released in the first week of November.
Why is it so important to optimize promotional content for different audiences?
The emotional journey of viewers holds a lot of valuable information for entertainment brands. From peaks in happiness to negative responses, knowing the exact second in which an emotion surges is key to making the most optimal improvements to promotional pieces. From a TV commercial to a movie trailer, you can transform good content into a viral game-changer for brands.
So what are we looking for when it comes to the emotional experiences of audiences as they watch a movie trailer? The most relevant patterns and insights that will improve your chances of success. Get viewers excited to watch your movie in theaters after watching the trailers and other digital ads on Youtube, social media, or somewhere else.
How audiences in LATAM respond to the movie trailer
Cultural differences are profoundly impactful when it comes to preferences and decisions. Brands like Disney have to go beyond their insights about consumers in the US and expand their toolbox to get to know such a diverse target as the LATAM audience. To do this, we ran an internal study with Synapbox’s methodology to understand how this target responds to Marvel’s Eternals movie trailer and dig into the juicy details of their emotional reactions. If you want to look at how our methodology works, you can see a quick demo here.
We tested the dubbed version of the trailer with two types of audience targets: Gen Z and Millenials.
Insights & Recommendations
Leverage Salma Hayek’s first appearance
The first peak of Attention Score levels (92 pts.) is when Salma Hayek appears during the second 12. This confirms that her appearance will be fantastic for ads targeted to Latin American audiences.
Recommendation: Use Salma Hayek’s appearance as a hook for the intro of all trailer versions and promotions for LATAM audiences (both for long ones – More than 1 minute, and short ones – less than one minute).
Use the first scene of Angelina Jolie (when she is using her weapon) in all trailers and promotions for LATAM audiences
After the second half of the trailer (after minute 1:25), when Angelina Jolie has her first appearance, there’s an Emotional Arousal spike. The audience shows a great reception of all characters in general.
Recommendation: Use the first scene of Angelina Jolie (when she is using her weapon) in all trailers and promotions for LATAM audiences (both for long ones – More than 1 minute, and short ones – less than one minute).
The mention of Chloe Zhao is generating positive emotions
Introducing the movie director (Chloe Zhao – award-winning director) and then showing all of the main characters in an open plane creates a peak of happiness among the audience. Keep that scene in all trailers.
Our content testing process can help you answer many questions about the best ways to optimize promotion materials for your new production. How is the protagonist perceived? Are they well-liked? How are the secondary characters perceived? Which secondary character grabs the attention of viewers?
Depending on the characters that perform better in a given country, you can edit the trailer to include that character and attract more viewers. You can research the audience’s opinions about characters to know if it would be beneficial to give them more screen time.
Marvel logo introduction
There’s a curious Anger spike when the Marvel logo appears during second 38. It might be related to the fact that 44% of participants lacked awareness about the movie. It’s worth digging into this more deeply to understand if this theory is correct (people get angry because they don’t know the characters or story) or what is generating this friction with the Marvel logo.
Another hypothesis we have is that the audience didn’t like the interruption. They were engaged with the story, and in second 39, the story gets interrupted with the company’s logo. Could it be shown earlier? This is another insight that companies can get when testing with Synapbox.
When we launch these studies with our clients, we include open questions to get specific information about the likes and dislikes and direct answers from participants.
What are some of the big questions that your brand needs to address? It’s common sense to check on your audience to know if they’re enjoying the experience or not. This issue is even more crucial for social media, as users are not satisfied with simply listening and are more vocal than ever. Every time a brand misses the point, consumers make it their mission to point out everything wrong with the content or campaign’s message, approach, execution, and more.
While being on the receiving end of such criticism doesn’t feel good, you have to admit there’s a lot of wisdom there. The solution? Learn from their experience. If you’re trying to avoid that scenario, you’re in luck. Technology makes it increasingly easy to test your ideas, concepts, entire campaigns, images, and videos before they reach your whole audience.
The second half of the trailer has very high Emotional Arousal levels
The second half of the trailer has, in general, very high Emotional Arousal levels. The joke about the Ikea table at the end of the trailer (minute 2:35) is a complete success. Keeping this joke in all of the trailers would be a great choice, validated by data.
Humor is one of the most effective tools to engage an audience, but it is not easy. What’s funny for you won’t necessarily be funny for your audience, especially when it comes to the ever-evolving and increasingly obscure medium of memes. So how can you make sure that your efforts will not only get a laugh but drive consumers to buy your product?
As they engage with the content in real-time, biometric technology helps you understand their second-by-second reactions to the material: from laughs to boredom to anger and more.
“Negative” emotions like Confusion are necessary for storytelling
The study shows the biggest peak of Confusion levels during the first appearance of a villain. It can happen for several reasons: the scene is dark, and the audience is trying to figure out what they’re seeing, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. “Negative” emotions like Confusion are necessary for storytelling, as they create intrigue, emotional depth, and variation in the experience.
A spike in anger or sadness can be engaging, as it creates an emotional bond with the content. Our content testing process provides context to ensure that negative emotions work for the story. Brands cannot ignore the complex emotional states of the audience. That can result in a lack of authenticity and relatability. Explore the full spectrum of emotions! Biometric technology can help you take calculated risks when it comes to bold storytelling.
For short versions of trailers, we recommend deleting scenes from the first half
For short versions of trailers, we recommend deleting scenes from the first half. It would be beneficial to focus on the second half with the fantastic Emotional Arousal scores.
In addition to a general emotional response, the second-by-second analysis of your content gives you more information. You can find out, for instance, that only 20% of participants showed a positive reaction like happiness or surprise in the first 5 seconds. But luckily, 90% of participants felt excited by the scene a minute later. Such insight can be practical as you can improve your content in the editing process by showing the most exciting moments or elements in the beginning.
younger generations show more emotional peaks and overall excitement in their experience
There’s a clear difference between the reactions of each age group. While all age segments show positive responses to the trailer, younger generations show more emotional peaks and overall excitement in their experience.
Understanding different generations in marketing is not an easy task. From Baby Boomers to Gen Z, generalizations only bring a limited perspective that inevitably flattens personalities and increases the likelihood of making mistakes. Why not go deeper than that? From successful streaming services to thriving retail companies, every brand (and its content) needs to evolve with its audience.
Avoid using generalizations instead of analyzing what truly hooked and compelled your audience. You can start optimizing your content creation right now by reviewing the responses of different audience segments.
Test your content and align it with your audience expectations
Synapbox helps brands and creators access automated consumer feedback to improve content creation and predict performance. Our technology allows you to read the room on a bigger scale. You can test your content with real users in their natural environments. In front of the computer in their homes, in any part of the world. Through their webcams, we track attention levels and facial expressions to understand their experience. The results are accurate, data-based insights that allow you to make specific improvements to your content.
Our content optimization platform can spot creative patterns that drive audience engagement. From a commercial to an Instagram ad, your company’s branding redesign, or your new PoP materials, you can use our holistic methodology to analyze your audience’s reactions to your content.