The teaser for the movie trailer, or “trailer trailers” — this new species of Hollywood marketing — is suddenly everywhere, hyping the first looks at movies like Prometheus, John Carter, The Avengers, Total Recall, and now the Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Rian Johnson sci-fi thriller Looper (embedded below). As the Los Angeles Times noted today, movie trailer releases have become massive events in their own right, so studio marketing machines have seized upon the idea of giving them mini-ad campaigns to build up interest for them.

So is this new promotional tool a boon, activating a fan base’s excitement and making general audiences feel more connected to what’s playing at the multiplex? Or is it an invasive strain of artificial hype that threatens to wipe out all other forms of entertainment life until we are left with only a feedback loop of advertising for advertising of advertising featuring commemorative t-shirts that are also advertisements?

Or, to put it in bean-counter terms, are they getting more people to go see movies? The first examples of trailer trailers were for films with large built-in audiences like Prometheus and Breaking Dawn – Part 2, so there was obvious anticipation for the first big trailers for those films. But films like this July’s Savages and September’s Looper are blank slates for everyone, save maybe Don Winslow superfans or Brick enthusiasts. The Looper trailer trailers — there have been two so far, marking each day to the full trailer’s premiere on this Thursday — have tried to add a little extra value by including Gordon-Levitt and director Johnson engaged in some playful banter explaining the slightly complex premise of their film. Check them out below, and then vote in our poll — are trailer trailers effective in goosing your interest in the films they’re ultimately promoting? Or is it all just more noise, crowding its way into your day?

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