"The only consistent thing in our business is change," said Elias Plishner, in charge of Edgar Wright's Baby Driver for the Sony Pictures Entertainment team. "Everything we are talking about here [in Austin], we weren't talking about last year at SXSW." 

Sitting on SXSW panel Opening a Film in a Mobile World along with Facebook's Beverly Atkins, Plishner explained the motivations for experimenting with the trailer on the eve of Baby Driver's SXSW world premiere. For Plishner, the entire marketing build-up of the film's premiere was centered on the trailer release.

The film won't be in theaters for another five months. To generate buzz, they created three versions of the trailer: one in traditional 16:9, another in 1:1, and the last in 9:16. The reason? 80-90% of viewers the trailer targets will be viewing it on mobile. 

A tale of two (or three) trailers

Here is the horizontal version of the Baby Driver trailer that went live after the world premiere:

If you head to the Baby Driver Facebook page on mobile, you can see the 9:16 trailer for the film. It looks like the below on a desktop, but on mobile, it fills the whole screen:


Plishner pointed out that they also released the trailer in square format. Here's a screenshot of what the native Facebook video looks like on desktop view on the Baby Driver page:


"This is the first big campaign we're doing with vertical video," said Plishner. "After frequency studies about vertical video and live video, we're seeing that the attention and interest is two to three times higher with [vertical] assets. We're testing it out. We want to put butts in seats for the film."

A trailer for the trailer

You may have noticed that, in addition to the three different trailers for each viewing experience, the team added a 5-second mini-trailer bumper.

"Sometimes people are like goldfish—they have a three-second attention span," said Plishner. "You have to hook them. It's the opposite of TV, where you end on a cliffhanger. Here, you have to lead with the cliffhanger. So we experimented with adding a 5-second bumper."

What do you think of the different versions of the trailer? Would you consider cutting a version of your next trailer for mobile?

For more, see our complete coverage of the 2017 SXSW Film Festival.

No Film School's coverage of the 2017 SXSW Film Festival is sponsored by Vimeo.