There’s a lot of things that have to go into making a movie trailer memorable. When there’s multiple trailers played during commercial breaks, in addition to advertisements, the trailer must stand out to the audience. You can be engaged through social media, put a few notable quotes if it’s an adaptation, or show some key scenes of the film. Another crucial part of any movie trailer is the ability to make it unforgettable by using music. Now, most trailers will usually feature some sort of music, even if it’s just background instrumental sound. Picking the right song for a movie trailer is an important part of making your audience remember your movie until the release date arrives. It can be what makes or breaks a movie trailer for someone. Here are four movies that are currently out or will be coming out shortly that I think do this well, for different reasons.

Engage your audience: Transformers: Age of Extinction

Considering this is the fourth “Transformers” movie, there’s got to be something done to make it stand out. Music alone doesn’t necessarily make or break the trailer, as I mentioned above. The trailer for “Transformers: Age of Extinction” combines a good song with getting viewers onto social media channels to discuss it. The trailer featured a song by Imagine Dragons called “Battle Cry.” It utilized the song in a way to get people to tweet #TransformersPremiere for a chance to see the band perform at the movie premiere in Hong Kong. Part of the lyrics go “It’s the battle cry/Nobody can save you now/It’s do or die.” The drum beats even match up with certain transformations. Making it an engaging process is important and gets the word out even more, just by initiating a conversation with a hashtag.

Feel a sense of nostalgia: How to Train Your Dragon 2

One song that is used in this trailer is “Kings and Queens” by Thirty Seconds to Mars (the only one in the television trailer). The song was released a little over a year ago but when I heard the song in the trailer, I immediately recognized it despite not hearing it for a while. Just because the song isn’t brand new or specifically written for the movie doesn’t make it bad. It can evoke that sense of nostalgia that gets you thinking about the song, therefore, most likely thinking about the trailer as well. Since some people will already know the song–it can be that force that just gets the song stuck in your head. If people are new to the song, then chances are they’ll also be thinking about the movie itself afterwards. If they’re new to the song, though, it’s probably something about a scene in the trailer that captures their attention first. That’s why it’s also essential to include a meaningful quote or action.If they like what they see in the trailer, then they can start getting to know the song in it too. Oh, and the baby dragons make it pretty cute…

Evoke a particular emotion: Maleficent

An important skill in any movie trailer is to evoke emotion from the viewers in the 30 seconds or minute-long spot that it gets. The trailer for “Maleficent” incorporates a classic song turned dim. The classic aspect of the song can make the trailer two-tiered: the emotion that could be evoked is nostalgia, right? The nostalgic part can be childhood memories from the original song from “Sleeping Beauty”–a much more playful and light-hearted version. The version by Lana Del Rey, however, has a dark tone to it. Since the 2014 movie is a backstory of the villain, it makes sense to use something that will make the audience have emotion towards the protagonist–and that is one that conveys something very mysterious and dark. The music doesn’t have to be quite as dramatic as the one featured in “Maleficent,” it all depends on the emotion that is trying to be directed towards the audience. Be it happy, sad, action-packed, etc. the song really can make all the difference.

Make you remember the trailer: Jersey Boys

With a movie like this, of course it makes complete sense to use songs by the band in the movie trailer itself. For those who may not know the Broadway show, it’s especially helpful to use songs that will give you some sort of a connection to the subject matter and make you remember the trailer. Featuring songs by the Four Seasons makes total sense because it gives the audience a taste of what the movie’s subject centers around and transports you to the scene. Not every movie will be able to have music incorporated by the band itself, however, every other element already mentioned is a crucial part in getting the trailer recognized and remembered. No matter what, the utmost priority is keeping the trailer in the viewers mind so that when it gets released, you’ll want to see it.

What other movie trailers do you think have done a good job with their music selection?

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