What you need to know about teaser campaigns and why they work  

September 6, 2019

A flirty little name based on a simple concept.  “Anyone who teases you loves you.”  

It’s an ancient line of thought, (allegedly an old Jewish proverb), and definitely something your mother said when you complained about the boy who pulled on your ponytail in second grade.  It’s what we did to our friends in high school when their crush passed by in the halls. It’s how we date. It’s the art of piquing interest just enough to make people want more.  

It’s also a major driver of a certain kind of advertising (and probably all advertising, but that’s another post).   

What’s a teaser campaign? 

A teaser campaign is a type of advertising campaign (also called a pre-launch campaign) designed to share just enough information about an event or a product launch or some other type of company news to entice audience attention.  It’s like a trail of breadcrumbs or a series of clues, sometimes cryptic, and always meant to create buzz. 

Whether you’re teasing an event or a product launch or a celebrity appearance, it’s a carefully planned communication strategy that includes a series of related media pointing toward an eventual reveal.  Though we are partial to a video approach (obviously), you can use any form of media to craft your campaign, whether it be photos on social media, radio broadcast soundbites, or billboard images on the side of a highway.  The key is to follow a central theme that excites your audience to pay attention and stay tuned until the big reveal.

So, what’s the big deal? Why are teaser campaigns effective? And, why is it an innovative (yet timeless) way to package a message? 

1. We all want to belong, and a teaser campaign creates a feeling of inclusion

People want to belong, to be part of the inside joke, to know that you’re really friends.  A teaser campaign allows your audience to feel included on a special secret, like you want to have fun with them. Like a friend, you’re sharing a little secret, some valuable information that they want. That feeling of belonging makes them feel closer to your brand. You’ve let them be in the know, and now they’re on the lookout for other insider information you may release. It’s a little like when the cool kid on the playground tells you about a secret clubhouse that only the cool kids know about. You feel honored, and you’re definitely going to go look for that secret clubhouse.

2. We love anticipation, it’s more than half the fun!

A teaser campaign is about anticipation, and we love anticipation. Sometimes the best part about the holidays are the weeks leading up to it. Think about a cool, December morning with twinkling lights and presents under the tree, your family and close friends gathered for a warm meal to savor each delicious bite. We love that idea. We love the spirit of the holidays that lets us anticipate a joyful time. The anticipation is more than half the fun! In the same way Christmas time  makes us feel like kids again, teaser campaigns have the effect of capturing the same excitement and anticipation.

3. Human curiosity is insatiable, take advantage.

As humans, we are unashamedly curious. We all have our ‘thing’ that we want to know ~ read: have to know ~  – whether that be the personal lives of Meghan and Harry or the next big Apple in stock value. A teaser campaign capitalizes on this trait, and that’s what makes it effective. Even though different audiences want to know different things, they all want to KNOW. It’s ubiquitous, and it makes teaser campaigns pretty darn effective. We see an example of teaser campaign, and it makes us think. What else is there? What’s the next clue? Where is the next clue? I want to know!

4. Get the people talking

A teaser campaign generates social engagement in a way that other content sometimes does not.  It really prioritizes the consumer experience, building their excitement, rather than a call to action to buy, sign up, like, etc.  It feels like it’s more about them. You’re giving them something to talk about, and it makes you seem more like a friend.  But, it’s on the platforms you choose. If you execute your teasers well, audience engagement will generate buzz for your reveal, and by default, your brand.  Everybody wins.

5. Lastly, it’s just good fun. 

Real talk though, a thoughtfully executed teaser campaign is a nice break from our usual content feeds.  A teaser campaign is fun to make, it’s a change of pace for you and your audience.  When we’re having fun creating a game-like experience for our audiences, that’s going to translate into the message.  Let’s not be afraid to have fun with it. It’s playful and unexpected and sociable, like this adorable bulldog riding a jet ski.

Click here to check out a recent teaser campaign we did with Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center and Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge for The Gala Goes Global.  

If you’re in the market for a teaser video (or really any kind of video), we’d love to learn more about your company needs and how we might build visual communications solutions for you.  

Contact us!  


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