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Excite: 35 Amaze: 9 Direct: 17
Shark vs Train (1:02)
Shark vs Train cover.jpg
Author: Chris Barton

chrisbarton.info @Bartography

Illustrator: Tom Lichtenheld

tomlichtenheld.com @tlichtenheld

Publisher: Little, Brown and Co

littlebrown.com @littlebrown

ISBN: 978-0316007627
Date Published: April 1, 2010 (I wonder if the date selection was intentional?)
Elements: Directive, Narrator, Praise, Sound Effect, Video - Stock

One of my favorite examples of a children's book trailer using misdirection as the approach. No wonder this trailer has been viewed over 78,000 times. This child's book trailer leads you to believe it is an adult story then presents the preposterous plot. All of the video footage is stock and the video editing techniques are simple. Brilliant concept and execution.

  • Leads you to believe adult story - but preposterous
  • Powerful voice narrator
  • Few words on screen
  • Visuals - stock footage then book shots

LEAD Analysis

Lead None LEAD Timing Stopwatch.png
Excite [interest] Introduce stock video of a shark and train. Funny lines such as "(The shark's )favorite color - blood red. Favorite game... Marco Polo."
Amaze [hook] The change in direction to reveal it is a kids book. Brilliant.
Direct [directive] Show amusing competition images from the book then the cover.

Trailer Arc

Character.jpg Challenge.jpg Praise.jpg Directive.jpg

The trailer spends the first half introducing the two protagonists: shark and train. It is done in a way that leads you to believe this is a serious treatment. Then the misdirection is revealed in the challenge of "Shark vs Train" - Who will win? Then praise with some amusing teaser images and finish with the directive.

Publisher Intro

If you think Superman vs. Batman would be an exciting matchup, wait until you see Shark vs. Train. Find out who triumphs at burping, bowling, Ping-Pong, piano playing, pie eating and many more competitions!

Who will YOU root for?