A movie-styled trailer for a magazine?
Trailers are one of my favorite parts of going to the movies. I never judge a movie by its trailer, but I do enjoy the enticement one brings. I like the trailers so much that if you were to try and talk to me while they're playing I will kindly stick my hand up to gesture that you need to stop talking.
A trailer of a movie communicates the most exciting, romantic, daring, scary or suspenseful moments of the film. The goal is to reel you in. So why don’t more things in our lives come with trailers? Imagine a trailer for the microwave you’re about to buy. A two-minute clip about the varying uses, but not an infomercial. This would have the quality of the same trailers you see at the movie theater. How much more exciting would that microwave become?
Imagine my surprise when Esquire magazine produced and blasted a trailer for their August issue. I was thrilled. I had never thought of a magazine trailer before. All of the words transformed into images. The stories on the pages come to life with movement and music. The man or woman on the cover now moves, talks, breathes. Jeremy Renner graces the cover this August and seeing him drive a gorgeous sports car makes me want to read the interview. Why? Because seeing Jeremy casually drive up in what looks like a new Mustang and tell me, “Welcome to Esquire,” got me wondering about the article. Jeremy Renner as Jeremy Renner. There’s no character he’s portraying or script he’s reading. The little I see and hear of him in the trailer hooks me long enough to want to read the article and possibly the rest of the magazine.
David Granger, Esquire’s editor-in-chief, mentions at the bottom of this article that trailers for each monthly issue could become a normal thing. But this isn’t Esquire’s first time up to bat. They also produced and released a trailer teasing the story of the Zaneville, Ohio Massacre in which the owner of 55 exotic animals let the animals out of their cages and then shot himself. 49 of the 55 animals had to be killed. The trailer features first-person narrative from members of the police squad that responded to the call that night. Images of the incident flash across the screen as the 911 call from that night plays.
Chris Jones, the author of the story “Animals”, writes a gripping account of the tragedy. The trailer plays out like a blockbuster trailer and really pulls you into the story. It pulled me in so much that I read the entire six-page article. It was riveting. Like something out a fictional short story I would have read in high school English class.
Esquire made a bold move into an arena that has historically excluded magazines. Time will only tell if the move will be successful for the magazine, but taking bold moves in marketing shows guts, creativity and forward thinking.