I find the whole "book trailer" trend pretty interesting. Using a visual media to sell someone on the idea that they’d like to read a (typically) not-so-visual book strikes me as a bit odd, and potentially misleading. If a book trailer is done too well, you want to "see the rest of it" — in other words, you start wishing you could watch the non-existent "movie" of which you’ve just been given a clip. If a book trailer is done too poorly you don’t want to read the book at all. One of my favorite novels of the year, for example, is one I might never have read if I’d actually believed it was half as clichéd and cheesy as the trailer that was created for it. (Ugh.)
But every now and again I see a book trailer or ad that impresses me. And today that ad was this one, which was created a year ago for The Book of Spam, written and packaged by Dan Armstrong and Dustin Black (Atria Books, 2007). This ad is an example of what these two call "Toastvertising."
Spam still lacks allure for me, but the cleverness of this ad makes me wonder about the cleverness of this book overall. My thinking is that anyone who could conceive and create an ad this clever ought to be able to create a pretty darn entertaining book, even on a topic as strange as processed meat. And if in the end that thought gets me to pick up the book, then the trailer has served its purpose, no?
If you enjoyed the book trailer above, you might also enjoy watching this video, which shows how it was made.
I recommend more authors and publishers consider using breakfast food in their trailers. It’s just so much more entertaining than bad actors.