If it's not trailers, it's teasers; if it's not teasers; it's images. By the time a blockbuster finally arrives, if you haven't heard so much about it that you want to scream -- from overload or delight -- the studio's marketing team hasn't done their job. But how early is too early to begin promoting a movie?
Pointing to this week's release of a teaser trailer for M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender, more than a year in advance of its planned theatrical roll-out in July 2010, The Big Money wonders if that's a good strategy: "How do you keep interest high then over the long autumn, winter, and spring? By producing trailer after trailer? Hollywood will watch this strategy closely to see at what point trailer fatigue sets in or whether it needs to build interest even earlier in its expensive summer blockbusters." Of course, as io9 observed, this isn't a new strategy; The Incredibles got teased 18 months in advance and Star Trek 16 months early (due in part to a release delay). Watchmen tried a different strategy that seemed to work, releasing behind the scenes clips (or "video journals") each month in the year leading up to its theatrical debut.
How do you pique interest and build awareness without potential viewers feeling like the movie's being jammed down their throats? Is it better to wait until closer to the release date? Are too many trailers and other advance promotional devices causing you to suffer from "trailer fatigue"? How early do you want to start seeing teasers and trailers?