Radio Trailer 'All Things Hair'

Question One Continued...

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The purpose of a radio trailer for a documentary is to grab the attention of the audience and to engage their attention to watch the trailer. The trailer is supposed to make the audience want to watch the trailer by making it sound interesting.

The radio trailer uses the code and convention of using a light music bed throughout the whole of the documentary. Like professional documentaries, we used a song that was relevant for our documentary (about hair).

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Therefore as a group we decided to use the song from our documentary which we use on the title sequence ‘Hair by Hair the musical’ but the karaoke version without the main lyrics. Like the professional documentaries, it’s at a low volume so the clips and voiceover can be heard easily.

At the beginning of our radio trailer we used a rhetorical question within the voiceover which is a code and convention from professional documentaries that we have used.

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“…But do we realise what hair means to us?” this is a rhetorical question, this uses direct address ‘us’ which will attract the audience’s attention as it is personal.

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We also used our slogan at the end of the documentary “Is there more to hair than just the cut?”

The voiceover is another code and convention which our radio trailer uses as it is the same individual we used for the voiceover in the documentary.
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This shows continuity as the majority of professional documentaries also use the same voiceover for advertisements of their documentary, as it’s a familiar voice linked to the documentary.

Throughout the radio trailer, there are several clippings (sound bites) from the actual documentary (from interviews), we used this code and convention to support the voiceover and to help reinforce what the documentary is about.

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Like professional radio trailers, this gives the audience a taste of what the documentary will be like.


Our radio trailer also uses the code and convention of having scheduling information at the end of the radio trailer. This includes the date, time and channel of the documentary at the end of the documentary.

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This is at the end of the documentary as the audience would have already heard what will be in the documentary and this reinforces where to find it.


My group’s radio trailer is 35-39 seconds long and a professional radio trailer normally lasts between 30 to 40 seconds.

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In these 35-39 seconds the audience get a feel for what the documentary will be about and gives further details about where they can find this documentary. This is an effective way of advertising the documentary.