Marketing is an all-pervasive but little-understood sector of the world economy. As with any other aspect of human existence, however, it has not been overlooked by the film industry. Whether you are an eager marketing student or a jaded marketing exec, the cinema can bring you a fresh perspective on the tasks you face in your chosen career. Whether for education, inspiration, or just entertainment, these seven films will help you reassess your approach to marketing.
Every Home Should Have One
This Britcom from 1970 explores the moral dilemmas faced by advertising executives. Teddy Brown, a marketing executive, is tasked with creating an advertising campaign for frozen porridge. Brown decides to use sex to sell his mundane product, which runs him into trouble with moral campaigners, including his wife. The film appeared at the turning point between the Swinging Sixties and the aimless Seventies, and it highlights the care marketers should take in detecting society’s moral compass.
Europe After The Rain
This 1978 documentary focuses on the Dada and Surrealist movements. You will recognize the struggle between original thinkers when creating something new. Another point of interest from these movements is their influence on modern perception, irony, and humor, three crucial aspects regularly used in contemporary advertising. Inspiration and guidance may arise from the most unexpected corners of the counterculture—yesterday’s avant-garde is today’s mainstream.
The Ad and the Ego
This film takes a scholarly approach toward advertising, marketing, consumerism, and globalization. After a rundown of the evolution of advertising, invited academics expound on the interaction among the advertising industry, society, culture, and product development. The movie highlights the resistance of the general public toward being sold something. This explains why counterculture concepts were co-opted by marketers to blindside the resistant consumer.
This gently comedic drama centers on an ideal family following a move to a suburban house. The members of the family soon inspire friends and neighbors to copy their purchases and pursuits before the much-admired Joneses are revealed to be a localized marketing campaign. The movie applies the marketing concept of celebrity endorsements to average neighbors.
No one in the current era has had as much as success in the design-to-sale process as Steve Jobs. This film is a biography of the recently deceased genius and follows his departure from and eventual return to Apple.
An artless promotional video by a Winnebago salesman goes viral on the Internet, making him a success. This is a true story and an early example of how content marketing can promote products for free.
Glengarry Glen Ross
A real estate agency owner pits his sales team against one another by creating a competition on sales turnover—the first and second place earn a prize, the third-place salesman gets the sack. Is this a winning formula for goal setting? Probably not. But you knew we had to include it here!