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McCANN Australia Truth Well Told

The Emotional Trailer

Effies | AMES | Cannes Lions | Mumbrella | Adfest | WARC

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Film has the incredible power to make us feel. Since the great depression, movies have been a cultural vehicle for escapism and a quest for meaning. But with 12 of the 20 top grossing films at the Australian Box office based on familiar stories, popular novels and sequels to other films, Australians have a strong desire to know how a film is going to make them feel before they see it. Within this insight lay the challenge and opportunity.

We sought to bring to life the emotions of each film so that a prospective audience can experience the way that a movie will make them feel, despite not knowing anything about the directors, actors or plot.


Using the universal language of emotion, we created a custom made Emotion Simulator to experience the emotional journey of every film at the festival.

To feed the simulator, we captured the emotional DNA of each film by monitoring the way prominent film critics responded to each film through biometric sensors and a custom app. The emotional map from each film was then fed into facial electrodes in the MIFF Emotion Simulator, allowing participants to feel 6 key human emotions: happiness, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise or anger. The emotional map was condensed into 1 minute, and the filmed experience of each participant was then turned into an emotional trailer for each film. These trailers could then be shared and viewers could book tickets directly from them.

Trailers were promoted through social, cinema, direct and outdoor advertising, and the Emotional Simulator was activated before films at the Festival.

Tickets to preview films in the Emotion Simulator sold out within 2 days of launch. The excitement around the Emotion Simulator and Emotional Trailers drove the following festival records:

• The highest attendance on record
• MIFF Membership growth of 10.4%
• $30,165,012 in earned media value
• An 800% increase in social media shares

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