Theater Owners Call for Shorter Trailers & No Online Content Links
In a move that might change the way films are promoted in movie theaters, the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) has changed their voluntary in-theater marketing guidelines which "will evolve in response to technological innovations, marketing and advertising trends, competition in the marketplace, and consumer demands." Amongst the biggest changes are for movie trailers, with new guidelines dictating that all trailers should be under two minutes and should not hit theaters more than 150 days in advance (while other promotional materials shouldn't hit more than 120 days in advance). But that's not all.
Deadline reports that movie theaters will have the opportunity to make two films exempt from those aforementioned three stipulations, but exhibitors must let NATO know in advance which films would they would like to be exempt. Even then, the films exempt from those guidelines cannot have a trailer longer than three minutes. As for any behind the scenes footage and extended trailers, those will have to be individually negotiated. In addition, in conjunction with the MPAA, all trailers should be rating appropriate for the films they're accompanying. However, all trailers can't have third party brands or endorsements within them.
But perhaps the most odd new guideline is that the trailers should not include anything that encourages mobile phone use during a film. That seems far too subjective, but this guideline is aimed at specifically excluding website URLs leading the a film's official website, Twitter account or Facebook. I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I've seen anyone rush to get their phone out following a trailer just to hop on Twitter, Facebook or their mobile browser to check out any of the social media aspects of a film's promotion, so this seems very excessive. It's an odd attempt at dealing with cell phones, that's for sure.
It's important to note that these are voluntary guidelines, so it's up to movie theaters just how much they'll comply. Most of them aren't too unreasonable, and it might dull down the promotion overload of tentpoles each year. At any rate, there are seemingly far too many trailers in front of films as it is, which seems to be a more pressing issues. At my local AMC locations, there are consistently 15 to 20 minutes of trailers, and as much as I love seeing trailers on the big screen, that's a bit much. Anyway, these new guidelines effect films released after October, so we'll see what happens. What do you think of these new trailer rules?