The art of the teaser trailer has evolved throughout the years. A subtle counterpart to the theatrical trailer, they are often released months before the film's premiere and have little-to-no footage. Though these advertisements still exist today, older formats seemed much more special.
The original teasers were presented like television commercials and were designed to capture the film's tone. They were told through visual storytelling without giving away important plot points. At the same time, rather than using existing scenes, special footage was shot specifically for these ads as they were often released while the movie was still in production. This made these trailers a unique moviegoing experience and feel like short films.
In the modern age, teaser trailers have drastically changed. They are now edited as a montage of different scenes from the feature and seem more like music videos. There is even the recent trend of online 'micro-teasers' which play before trailers, and yet, none of these examples hold a candle to the classics.
Here, then, are the teasers that were instrumental to their film's success while utilizing specially-shot footage.
10. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
In the late 90s, the hype for The Phantom Menace was off the charts. The first Star Wars film since 1983, the prequel was highly anticipated by millions of people. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me would use the film's popularity to its advantage with this clever teaser.
The trailer opens with futuristic ships while a narrator speaks of a fallen Empire and the continuation of a saga. Accompanied by the Imperial March, Darth Vader's breathing, and a pale, bald man, all things seem point to the new Star Wars trailer. In a clever bait-and-switch, the figure is revealed to be Dr. Evil as he says 'You were expecting someone else?' - which serves as the icing on this cake.
A huge reason why this teaser is so effective is because of how it accurately captures Star Wars's music and visuals. By recreating elements of the saga, it makes Dr. Evil's reveal even more surprising. The trailer even encourages audiences to watch Star Wars first and then Austin Powers, making it one of the few movie advertisements to promote the competition.
This teaser ensured the comedy sequel's place as one of the highest-grossing films in 1999.