The Avengers 4 trailer will definitely drop in 2018. Marvel seem to be quite enjoying playing with audience expectations when it comes to the marketing of next year's Avengers sequel. There's an unprecedented degree of secrecy surrounding the film - so far, Marvel hasn't even officially confirmed the Avengers 4 title - and the mystery is just leading to an ever-increasing sense of anticipation among the fandom.

Many had expected the Avengers 4 trailer to drop this week; it's the anniversary of the first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War, and right before the first Avengers 4 tie-in comic will be released. It now looks as though those expectations are doomed to disappointment. All this is leading to an intense sense of frustration among eager Marvel fans who are keen to watch their first footage from the movie.

Related: Predicting What We Will (& Won't) See In The Avengers 4 Trailer

One thing can be said for certain, though; there will indeed be a Avengers 4 trailer in 2018. Kevin Feige himself confirmed this in October this year. While Feige refused to give a clue to a specific date, he said that the trailer would be released "before the end of the year." That will officially mark the beginning of Avengers 4's marketing campaign.

Once the Avengers 4 trailer releases, there will probably then be a flood of announcements related to tie-in merchandise. Details from some toy packs are already leaking online, revealing previously unknown plot details. Marvel simply can't hold the trailer back much longer, for fear a high-profile leak will mean merchandise teases something they wanted to reveal in a more controlled way.

2018 has already demonstrated just how important marketing is for even big brands like Marvel and Star Wars. Solo: A Star Wars Story was the biggest misstep by Lucasfilm to date, and it was largely a result of a lackluster marketing campaign. Disney and Lucasfilm were overconfident about the strength of the Star Wars brand, believing the film would essentially sell itself; as a result, they didn't release the first trailer until just three months before Solo hit the box office. Ultimately, Solo grossed less than $400 million worldwide against an inflated budget that may have been as high as $300 million. Every single film studio will have learned some important lessons from Solo's performance, and there's no way Marvel will be risking a repeat. With Avengers 4 currently due to release in the beginning of May, Marvel will want footage out there by the end of 2018 at the absolute latest.

But why is Marvel waiting so long before they drop the Avengers 4 trailer? The answer is that the "delay" is in itself a smart marketing strategy. Right now, among Marvel fans there's only one topic of conversation: Avengers 4. Hype is building online, even though Marvel has literally done nothing. As a result, when that trailer does release, every single Marvel fan will want to watch it, share it, and react to it - meaning the trailer will be exposed to an ever-growing audience on social media. The trailers for Avengers: Infinity War were record-breaking, but Avengers 4's may already be primed to perform even better.

More: Avengers 4: Every Update You Need To Know

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