Difference Between Trailer and Teaser (with Table)

Entertainment has provided society with an elusion from reality which ever and anon may be very distressing and out of joint. It intends to amuse and interest the audience and may also be used as a powerful and potent medium to create awareness or educate people by conveying a strong message to society. The entertainment industry has made remarkable progress ever since it was established.

Movies are a major contributor to the field of entertainment. In order to promote and advertise a movie prior to its release, small clips from the movie are released on various social media platforms and as theatre or webpage advertisements to the audience to give a peek into what the story is all about. It also sparks up inquisitiveness among the viewers who must watch the movie in order to know the complete story. These clips are in the form of trailers and teasers, two often very closely related terms.

Trailer vs Teaser

The main difference between a trailer and a teaser is that a trailer has a longer duration and provides a deeper look into the movie whereas a teaser is of a very short span of time and includes negligible details.

Comparison Table Between Trailer and Teaser

Parameter of ComparisonTrailerTeaser
LengthIt extends up to 1 to 2 minuteIt is less than a minute long
IntentIt is intended to give the audience a glimpse of what the movie is going to be aboutIt is intended to tease the audience and create lust and anticipation among the audience
NumberA movie has about 2 to 3 trailersFor a particular movie, there are more number of teasers than the trailers
Time of creation and releaseA trailer is created and after the shoot for the movie is completedIt is created and released before the start or during the shooting of the movie
SchemeTrailers provide a lot of information about the plotline of the story and highlight the key theme of the movieTeasers reveal very little, almost negligible information regarding the plot of the movie
StructureTrailers usually have a 3 – act structure starting with act I-the premise followed by act II, which is the continuation of the story and ends with act III-the climaxSince teasers have a very short duration, they do not have any structure as such
ReleasesTrailers are mostly a part of movies onlyApart from movies, teasers are also used to promote other big releases including  music videos and albums
HistoryThe very first trailer was shown in an American theatre in November 1913 for the short film ‘The Pleasure Seekers’One of the early examples of the teaser is the 1978 Superman film by Richard Donner

What is Trailer?

A trailer is a promotional feature consisting of a set of clips or scenes from the movie, that gives rise to curiosity among the viewers. It provides a shallow idea about the plot and the theme of the story in a span of 60 to 120 seconds and may have two or three parts to it. It primarily provokes the audience to watch the entire movie.

Most trailers have a 3 – act structure containing the introductory scene which is followed by the continuation of the story and finally ends with the climax of the movie. Trailers are aimed at giving an in – detail idea of the movie that would cater to the taste of its audience and is therefore created and introduced only after the complete shooting of the movie is done.

What is Teaser?

A teaser is an advertising device that intends to arouse interest and tease the audience besides announcing the release of the movie, and last for less than a minute. It does not provide any insights or details regarding the theme or plotline of the story. Owing to its short length, it does not have any well – defined structure.

Teasers are produced prior to the trailers, even before or during the shoot of the movie, and therefore fail to give much information regarding the movie. There are more number of teasers for a particular movie than the trailers. Apart from movies, teasers can also be a part of other big releases like song albums and music videos.

Major Differences Between Trailer and Teaser

  1. The one biggest difference between a trailer and a teaser lies in their duration. While on one hand, trailers last from 1 to 2 minutes, teasers are kept short and are less than a minute long. This makes up for the basis of many other differences between the two.
  2. The trailer gives much more details about the story-line than a teaser which hardly succeeds in explaining anything valuable about the movie and is made just to tease the audience
  3. Trailers are made and featured after the completion of the film. On the other hand, teasers are shot and released publicly before or during the making of the film.
  4. Being of very short duration, teasers are more in number than the trailers which are typically 2 to 3 for every movie.
  5. The purpose of the trailer is to give the audience a glance at the location, characters, theme, and plotline of the movie whereas teasers intent solely to publicize and announce the release of the movie.
  6. The trailer is based on a 3 – act structure but a teaser is too short to include any details of the movie.
  7. Teasers promote music albums and other releases in addition to movies but this is not usually the case with trailer
  8. The custom of releasing trailers was started in 1913 and the concept of teasers was introduced later on.


Trailers and teasers, often used synonymously are promotional features that are used to advertise movies, music videos, song albums, and other big releases on a large scale. The idea is to gather a massive audience by directly giving the preview to the viewers, against the practice of letting people judge the content solely on the basis of reviews.

The difference in the two terms lies in their duration and time of production but both are intended to manifest the major content in different ways and are universal in their applications.


  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-15-0751-9_62
  2. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=NBOFIdchEQYC&oi=fnd&pg=PA195&dq=Trailer+and+Teaser+&ots=9CmCpRwtWd&sig=VguzslVJM_iaQup7Kdh1xLVcCKU&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Trailer%20and%20Teaser&f=false

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