Promotional Screen Industries

By Paul Grainge, Catherine Johnson

© 2015 – Routledge

226 pages

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Paperback: 9780415831666
pub: 2015-04-13
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Hardback: 9780415831628
pub: 2015-04-17
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About the Book

From the trailers and promos that surround film and television to the ads and brand videos that are sought out and shared, promotional media have become a central part of contemporary screen life. Promotional Screen Industries is the first book to explore the sector responsible for this thriving area of media production.

In a wide-ranging analysis, Paul Grainge and Catherine Johnson explore the intermediaries – advertising agencies, television promotion specialists, movie trailer houses, digital design companies – that compete and collaborate in the fluid, fast-moving world of promotional screen work.

Through interview-based fieldwork with companies and practitioners based in the UK, US and China, Promotional Screen Industries encourages us to see promotion as a professional and creative discipline with its own opportunities and challenges. Outlining how shifts in the digital media environment have unsettled the boundaries of ‘promotion’ and ‘content’, the authors provide new insight into the sector, work, strategies and imaginaries of contemporary screen promotion.

With case studies on mobile communication, television, film and live events, this timely book offers a compelling examination of the industrial configurations and media forms, such as ads, apps, promos, trailers, digital shorts, branded entertainment and experiential media, that define promotional screen culture at the beginning of the twenty-first century.


"This is a landmark study and a compelling account of productive fieldwork across media in the promotional screen industries. Sets a methodological standard for future production studies research. Its careful, interview-based, multi-year ethnography mines theoretical insights from complex creative labor and institutional practices rather than from textual theories. The book effectively underscores the clear value of scholar-practitioner interactions and systematically integrated cultural-industrial analysis. Well-written and astutely reasoned, a must-read for anyone studying the contemporary media industries."

John T. Caldwell, Professor of Film, Television, and Digital Media, UCLA

"This is a truly superb book that throws down a gauntlet to media studies to expand in interesting, vital ways, and that then picks that gauntlet back up and uses it with skill and panache, showing us how to study promotional screen industries. It’s pathbreaking, exciting, and excellent, full of raw information and smart, thoughtful ideas."

Jonathan Gray, Professor of Media and Cultural Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison

"Read as a guide to today’s hybridized marketing, branding and advertising screen industries this is undoubtedly an impressive book. But approached as an intervention in the field from two leading members of the ‘paratextual cohort’, it is even more dazzling. Drawing on international fieldwork and an instructive range of case studies, Grainge and Johnson convincingly make the case for just how creative, aesthetically vibrant, and culturally significant the work of the promotional screen industries can be."

Matt Hills, Professor of Film and TV Studies, Aberystwyth University

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: The Blurring Boundaries of Promotion and Content 1. On Promotional Screen Content 2. On the Promotional Screen Industries Part 2: Media Promotion 3. Mobile Communication: Screen advertising and Shareable Media 4. Television: Transmedia and Second Screens 5. Movies: Trailers and the Infrastructure of Blockbuster Marketing 6. Events and Spaces: Digital Animation and Experiential Design Conclusion: Only Promotion

About the Authors

Paul Grainge is Associate Professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of Nottingham. He is the author of Brand Hollywood (2008) and Monochrome Memories (2002), editor of Ephemeral Media (2011) and Memory and Popular Film (2003), and co-author of Film Histories (2007).

Catherine Johnson is Associate Professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of Nottingham. She is the author of Branding Television (2012) and Telefantasy (2005) and the co-editor of Transnational Television History (2012) and ITV Cultures (2005).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies