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Case study: Sztuka kochania

ELLEN helps to master the trailer of “The Art of Love”

Watchout Productions is a Polish production house that specializes in the production of feature films, advertising and promotional films. Thanks to the spectacular success of its 2014’s hit movie “Gods” (“Bogowie”), the company has a well established position in the Polish film industry.

When Watchout Productions was about to release the trailer of its new and anticipated movie “The Art of Love” (“Sztuka kochania. Historia Michaliny Wisłockiej”), expectations were high. The role of a trailer is significant for building audience’s excitement and, in result, the success of a movie. The producers decided to analyze the final edit of the trailer to see whether it would help them hit a home run.

The challenge

Watchout Productions needed ELLEN platform to prove whether viewers would find their trailer interesting and engaging. They wanted to assess the level of viewers’ emotional reactions and identify the scenes with the lower than average level of involvement. The research was also to find out how people reacted to jokes in the trailer and whether the moment of branding triggered audience’s positive response.

The tool

ELLEN is a computer system to analyze data and give answers to business question. During the research, a group of chosen responders is recorded while watching the video content.  On the basis of their face expressions and reactions to the content, ELLEN helps in making predictions on customers’ future behavior. It gives suggestion on how to change the content in order to achieve the expected results.

The research

The research was to assess if viewers reacted to the trailer the way the film producers would want them to. The survey added to the research consisted of 9 questions and the responders were asked e.g. if the trailer evoked positive or negative reactions, would they watch the advertised film or recommend it to a friend.


150 people aged 18 to 65 years old

1 day
Content under analysis

The trailer of „The Art of Love”

The results

The research with ELLEN platform confirmed that the trailer was emotionally engaging for viewers. They were amused by its humorous scenes and reacted to them with laughter, just as the film producers expected them to. The level of emotional engagement started to rise with the 12th second of the trailer and that was a very good result. It meant that the producers managed to make contact with viewers by telling them the interesting story. Since that moment on, the audience’s emotional engagement was alternately high or low what proved the humorous tone of the trailer. The emotional engagement and the value of joy were the highest at the end of the trailer. That suggested positive association viewers would have with the name of the film director and the date of the film premiere screening.

Thanks to the short-duration research (1 day),  the editors were able to follow its key suggestions. They added the name of the film to the trailer final as that moment evoked the most joy and emotional involvement.

What kind of emotions did the trailer evoke?

The trailer evoked mainly joy (the green line). However, there were also the signs of anger (the red line) and disgust (the brown line).

The level of positive emotions and emotional involvement (the purple line) was growing and it reached its peak at the end of the trailer. The two moments with the lower than average emotional involvement  are the beginning and the very end of the trailer.

Was the level of viewers’ emotional involvement the same throughout the whole trailer?

The average level of emotional involvement was 7%.

The emotional involvement started to increase with the 12th second of the trailer. It’s the real beginning of the presented story and in case of videos longer than 30 seconds, it is a very good result. From that moment on, the level of emotional involvement was alternately falling and growing, proving comedy character of the trailer. The viewers’ reactions met screenwriters’ expectations. The level of emotional involvement started to decrease after 1 minute and 22 seconds and rose again by the end of the trailer.

How did the viewers respond to the moment of branding?

The level of positive emotions and emotional involvement was rising and reached the high value at the end of the trailer. Its peak was observed when the film director’s name and the date of premiere screening were presented. However, the level of emotional involvement and the value of joy decreased at the moment of branding (the film’s title presentation) – probably in response to the preceding sex scene.

Were the viewers equally focused during the whole trailer?

The focus diagram resembles the emotional involvement diagram – it increases when emotions rise, it decreases when responders become less involved in the content.

In-between the funniest scenes of the trailer, the viewers’ focus decreased  (36 – 80s.; 86 – 108s). This tendency proved the comedy character of the trailer and confirmed that screenwriters achieved their objective.

What were the funniest scenes of the trailer?

The producers wished to examine whether the planned humorous scenes would make responders burst with laughter. To find answers, they analyzed the joy tendency and identified 4 moments with the highest value of joy. It turned out that these were exactly the scenes designed to amuse viewers. Following the diagram of smiles, the screenwriters made sure the responders understood their intentions perfectly.

Project co-funded by the NCBR under the programme GO_GLOBAL.PL