Since I published the article about them, I have seen little improvement as a result of some of the new changes for movie trailers in theaters and on TV.
One of the intended goals was to make the reasons why the movie was rated the way is was more visible. This included an increase in the visible size of the rating code and more legible descriptors. The example that I put in the article was too small to read. Not too long after, I started seeing the updates on TV. It’s a start but there are some major improvements that are still needed.
The problem is that the “visible” goal is not fully achieved. In some cases on TV, it looks like the set-up was done using the smallest font possible for the descriptors, but making the rating code just large enough for possible viewers to read. I’ve seen an ad for Progressive with the Minions from Despicable Me 2. At the end, the rating box is from the now old format but I was able to read the descriptors just fine. Sure, the ad was made before the update and by the time it went to air, seeing the old design was not really newsworthy. However, the fact that the old design in that ad is more visible than the new one seen today is a little troubling.
What should be done? Well, why not use the new green band at the front of TV spots? Modify the text about the trailer being appropriate for those watching whatever they’re watching and increase the size of the box. Then at the end of the spot, re-emphasize the rating by having the design occupy about a quarter of the screen. The drawback to this idea is that the band on a trailer lasts about five seconds. That’s 1/6 of a TV spot spent on telling the viewer what and why it’s rated the way it is. Those making the spots will need to figure out how to work around the 5 second band and still fulfill their objective of getting people to the theater to this movie.
There’s some work that needs to be done. It’s a matter of when and how.