Dialsmith Discoveries | HOTTEST or NOT-est Summer Movie Trailers

Welcome to the next installment of our Dialsmith Discoveries series—where we put our own Dialsmith research tech to the test to tackle a timely but usually not-so-serious question that has befuddled humanity for decades, or maybe years, or perhaps hours. In our previous segments, we’ve sliced up America’s Favorite Thanksgiving Pie , scored the Best and the Rest of the Big Game Ads, and even tested controversial political Tweets about the border wall (#BorderTweets). But our latest installment of Dialsmith Discoveries is a real blockbuster. That’s to say, we’ve selected this summer’s biggest blockbuster movies and put their trailers to the test. After all, the summer movie season is just kicking into high gear, so what better time to find out which of these trailers sizzle, and which fizzle.

To do so, we surveyed 188 people from all across the US. Using our online survey and dial testing tool Perception Analyzer Online, we asked our group to answer some background questions and view and rate seven movie trailers, all of which were approximately 2 minutes in length. The group viewed trailers from this summer’s most anticipated releases: Dark Phoenix, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Men In Black International, Spiderman Far from Home, The Lion King (2019), The Secret Life of Pets 2, and Toy Story 4.

Each trailer was rated moment-to-moment on a scale from 0 (Strongly Dislike) to 100 (Strongly Like). To gauge any impact from the trailers, we also asked our group to tell us which of the movies they were most excited to see both before and after viewing the trailers.

So, before you bolt to the box office or flock to Fandango, grab that $18 bag of hot-buttered popcorn and view the following key takeaways from our HOTTEST and NOT-est Summer Movie Trailer Discoveries…

Hot Take #1: The Lion King trailer reigned supreme thanks to high marks across the board but especially from Boomers and GenX-ers. Boomers and GenX-ers generally trailed the other age groups on all the other trailers.

The color lines indicate the moment-to-moment feedback based on age groups. Black line is the total. Blue is Millennials. Red is GenX-ers and Green is Baby Boomers.

Hot Take #2: Toy Story played best in the South (blue line) but was solid in every region. Meanwhile, the Fast & Furious trailer was big in the Northeast (red) but veered a bit off path in both the Midwest (green) and West (purple).

Hot Take #3: Men in general (not to be confused with Men In Black) were way more jazzed about all of these trailers than women. Women responded much better to the two animated trailers and the live action (The Lion King) one. Women were meh about the action/super hero movie trailers. 

Across the board, men were giving way more love to these trailers than women. For example, check out these results from the Dark Phoenix trailer. Showing the split between male (blue) and female (red) responses.


Hot Take #4: Across the board, parents (blue line) were way more into these trailers then non-parents (red) as was the case in The Secret Life of Pets and Men In Black trailers below. One exception was The Lion King, which equally appealed to parents and non-parents alike.

Hot Take #5: The trailers did push the needle (or in this case, move the slider) in a positive direction for most of these films. The Fast & Furious and The Lion King trailers made the most positive impact while the Men In Black trailer had the biggest negative.


So, how did your most anticipated summer movie measure up? It’ll be interesting to revisit these results after to summer to see how the success (or lack there of) of each of these trailers correlates to the overall success of each movie. Regardless, we hope you enjoy the summer movie season. We’ll be taking a bit of a break but will be back this fall with our next edition of Dialsmith Discoveries. So, please stay tuned.

You got a more serious question about your branding, messaging or content that we might be able help you answer? Give us a shout and let’s chat about it.