Trailer for Jamal Khashoggi documentary “The Dissident” rises above the competition

January 08, 2021, 9:00 PM UTC

“The Dissident” took the top spot in this week's YouGov trailer survey. The documentary, directed by Academy award winner Brad Fogley (“Icarus”), tracks the story behind Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal 2018 murder at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey.  

Each week YouGov Direct investigates how effective a collection of movie trailers is in persuading people to consider seeing a film, what they think about the content of the trailer, and how good or bad they expect the movie to be. Thousands of people provide immediate feedback on movie trailers using the YouGov Direct platform.

Learn more about YouGov Direct and find YouGov Direct on the App Store and on Google Play.

“The Dissident” had the most effective and most popular trailer this week. Before watching the trailer, 17% of YouGov Direct users said they were somewhat or very likely to watch this tale of corruption, cover ups and courage. After users viewed the trailer, that number jumped to more than half of all users (55%). 

This eye-opening documentary was particularly appealing to Millennial and Gen Z audiences. Nearly two-thirds of respondents between the ages of 18 and 39 said they were somewhat or very likely to see the film post-trailer (64%). 

 

So what set “The Dissident” apart from the competition this week? When we asked users what they enjoyed most about the trailer, the overwhelming answer was its powerful story (54%) about a murder that shook the world. A further 39% said they liked the trailer’s CGI-enhanced look. 

YouGov Direct also asks respondents to tell us how good or bad they think a movie will be based on the trailer. Of all the trailers we tested this week, “The Dissident” came out on top with a score of 4.0 out of a possible 5.0. This is compared to a median score of 3.5 for all trailers tested to date. The second highest rating of the week went to Amazon’s home building drama, “Herself” (3.8) 

“Herself” follows a working-class Dublin mother made homeless when she leaves her abusive husband. Fighting back against a broken housing system, she decides to build her own home and in the process rebuilds her life and re-discovers herself.

 

The trailer for “Herself” was the second most effective at persuading viewers to consider seeing a film this week, after “The Dissident”. Prior to seeing the trailer, 14% of YouGov Direct respondents said they were likely to see this Irish set drama. But after viewing the trailer on the YouGov Direct platform, more than two in five said they were now likely to see it (41%). 

The trailer for this feminist flick had a strong impact on female viewers: half of female YouGov Direct users who viewed the trailer said they were somewhat or very likely to see “Herself” (50%) -- compared with 31% of men. 

YouGov Direct also offers members the opportunity to learn more about a film after watching the trailer. This week “Herself” had the highest click-through rate of any movie being released on streaming and video-on-demand services (12.4%). This is compared to an average click-through rate of 6.7% for all trailers tested to date. The second highest click-through rate was for Netflix’s heartbreaking home birth drama “Pieces of a Woman” (7.7%). 

 

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Image: Getty 

Methodology: Data is based on 4,000 interviews, including a minimum of 400 responses for each movie trailer tested. Surveys were conducted online on January 7, 2021.