I see this question has a close-vote with the reason off-topic. I could join in and close-vote, but I miss at the moment the particular reason, why it is off-topic. The question is related to movies, so the very trivial check pass. If we regard this off-topic, it should be something, that our FAQ should contain. As the FAQ is in writing, we should be clear about it. Yes, Alonzo wrote into his FAQ-template trailer-analysis as off-topic. But he is also the one asking this question. So I think he want us to discuss this.

I personally have no opinion so far. I'm not much interested in this question, but I see so far no harm from it. So I could go either way. So should this question off-topic and then why? And if it should be on-topic, why should it?

2 Answers 2


I am the one who added the close vote. The question asks about the unique selling point of the trailer. This term does not stem from movies but marketing. The point of a trailer is to market the audience. A trailer is basically a commercial for the movie.

Why should it be off-topic?

Trailers do not add contribution to the understanding of the film. You cannot analyze a trailer, the mash-up of scenes is done by the distributor. Also trailers sometimes include footage that never appears in the movie. The point of that footage is mainly there for advertising purposes.

If you are analyzing scenes individually in a trailer, you are analyzing the movie, you are not analyzing the trailer.

I concede. You are both giving me a headache.



  • 2
    I'm not necessarily arguing for questions about trailers to be on-topic, but the fact that the footage is there for advertising purposes doesn't preclude it from the ability to be analyzed. You can definitely analyze the scenes included in a trailer - the fact that it's done by the distributor doesn't much matter; the fact that the choice of scenes shapes people's perceptions of the movie does.
    – Laura
    Dec 12, 2011 at 21:12
  • 1
    @Laura There are no full scenes in a trailer. What purpose does analyzing the trailer of the film add to understand the film? None. I don't see why are you arguing my literal words and phrases, "You cannot analyze a trailer" within the context of understanding the movie, I hope this is understood. Yes you can analyze a single scene in a trailer because it's from the movie. You cannot analyze a trailer from start to end without throwing in some marketing.
    – phwd
    Dec 12, 2011 at 22:03
  • @Laura The fact that this is from distributor does indeed matter or else I can just throw in that commercial about that one movie that went to DVD. Or that one commercial from ABC that threw together scenes on their own to have a preview for their TV movie special. A trailer is a commercial and it is an indirect work of the production team. In no way can I say, "Yes Mr.X Director definitely wanted to show scene 1 followed by scene 20 followed by scene 2 followed by scene 1 again"
    – phwd
    Dec 12, 2011 at 22:06
  • @Laura Let me say this again just look at the following : If you are analyzing scenes individually in a trailer, you are analyzing the movie, you are not analyzing the trailer
    – phwd
    Dec 12, 2011 at 22:09
  • Please don't throw definitions around @Mnementh Where did I say that I created the question to be a bad example? Please check the chatroom for context chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/1888?m=2647374#2647374 I asked a question after which someone asked about it on chat and we decided that maybe it wasn't a good fit after all so I placed a close vote. I am honestly tired of battling anyone anymore. I gave you an answer why the question was there and I gave you context chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/1888?m=2647374#2647374 just don't spread false accusations about me :|
    – phwd
    Dec 13, 2011 at 12:17
  • OK, sorry. I misunderstood you for asking and then closing the question yourself. I'm deleting my comment before, as it adds nothing to the discussion.
    – Mnementh
    Dec 13, 2011 at 12:21
  • 1
    The things that should stay in the discussion: Trailers aren't always be made by the Distributors, Iron Sky can be a counterexample. And trailers can be used to set the expectations of the viewer and so influence the experience of watching the movie. Both doesn't mean, that trailers should be on-topic, but it should be considered on making the decision.
    – Mnementh
    Dec 13, 2011 at 12:29

Trailer questions should be on-topic if they relate to the movie side of things.

In my opinion, these would be acceptable questions: (none of these are good per se, but still on-topic)

Which actor is in this trailer?

Does this scene in the trailer actually happen in the film?

When was this trailer released?

While questions relating to marketing are off-topic.

  • Why the downvote?
    – Pubby
    Dec 12, 2011 at 16:45
  • Aren't your examples just poor trivia questions? I fail to see the value in them
    – Ivo Flipse
    Dec 12, 2011 at 19:13
  • @IvoFlipse I don't see them as trivia questions, nor do I see them as good questions.
    – Pubby
    Dec 12, 2011 at 20:40
  • @Pubby if you don't see them as good questions, and if nobody else does, then they don't belong on this site. I personally also think these are trivia questions.
    – Laura
    Dec 12, 2011 at 21:09
  • 1
    Sorry Pubby, I agree with Ivo here. These are some poor questions to show whether trailers should be on-topic. These are all trivial questions.
    – phwd
    Dec 12, 2011 at 22:15
  • @Laura I see my examples as bad, but not the tag. We've only gotten 1 trailer question so far and it is very early to judge the quality of it. This question will be better answered in a several months.
    – Pubby
    Dec 12, 2011 at 22:25

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