Giving a Book a Good Cover (Pt. 1): Effective Launch Trailers

Launch trailers are the book covers of video games; something we shouldn’t judge but sometimes do anyways. Launch trailers (trailers for a game soon to be launched) are supposed to make us pick up that book and open its cover.

How many game trailers have you come across that motivated you to post them via your social network or instantly purchase the game? More likely, how many times have you stopped a game trailer before it finished?

Game trailers can have a huge impact on awareness for a new franchise or create the necessary buzz at the start of a stretch marketing campaign. Some trailers can cause instant purchasing, especially when it is presented via a digital download service like STEAM (the leading digital PC gaming download service and social network with 25 million+ users).

If your looking to generate awareness amongst potential buyers and get them to open the cover, then how should your game trailer be presented? It needs to contain a good representation of the games atmosphere and create interest by leaving somethings, like game play, unknown. A launch trailer captures and holds your interest but leaves you with some questions. Perhaps those same questions will lead you to do your own investigating and start “reading” the game. A great and recent example of this type of trailer can be seen in Dead Island’s launch trailer here

The Dead Island launch trailer, if presented to an audience on STEAM, will more than likely NOT create a desire to pre-purchase but would generate the desire to learn more. That desire to learn more may lead that potential customer to the game’s website and transform that inquisitiveness into the desire to purchase. At the least, the launch trailer will put the games name in the head of the buyer and when more information on the game becomes available (like a game play trailer) the buyer will take notice.

Join the herd next week for Pt. II of Giving a Book a Good Cover where we look at game play trailers and what makes them view worthy, from start to finish. If you have any game play trailer(s) that impacted your decision, positively or negatively, to purchase please let me know about them in comments.

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