35 Must-Watch Movies About Marketing, Advertising, And Sales
Are you damn exhausted to read all the business books and listen to webinars? Switch to TV shows and movies: there are a lot of insights for people who work in marketing, advertising, and public relations.
Are you ready? Here we go.
1. Suits (rating on IMDb: 8.6)
TV-show (2010 - …)
Suits is an American TV-show about lawyers. Obviously, law is the dominating topic here, but you’ll find a lot of insights regarding marketing and sales. Main characters sell a difficult product: law services. And. man, they do it brilliantly. Watch and learn.
2. 12 Angry Men (rating on IMDb: 8.9)
Do you want to spend a retro-movie night? Then you should definitely watch “12 Angry Men”. The movie shows the art of persuasion in action. You’ll definitely be able to use this skill in sales.
3. House of Cards (rating on IMDb: 8.9)
TV-Show (2013 - …)
Yeah, maybe the series is about politics, but that’s exactly where the brilliant advertising and PR-moves are often happening. The TV-show is shocking, in some ways brutal, but highly useful for those who work in communications.
4. The Pursuit of Happiness (rating on IMDb: 8.0)
The movie tells about the power of love and motivation. The character played by Will Smith is raising a child alone. He is willing to sacrifice everything to make the kid happy. We can see the loving father chasing success while using marketing tactics.
5. Mad Men (rating on IMDb: 8.4)
TV series (2007-2015)
It’s an iconic series among people who work in advertising. “Mad Med” represents the situation where everything is perfect: the quality of image, actors, narrative, and the preciseness of the description of an advertiser.
6. Absolute Power (IMDb rating: 8.2)
TV series (2003-2005)
A series demonstrates the lives of the associates at the public firm. The motto of the practice is “lying for living“. It’ll give you a better understanding of political technologies and communication tactics.
7. The Wolf of Wall Street (rating on IMDb: 8.2)
If you still happen to miss out on this masterpiece, you can watch it even tonight. Not only it deserves your attention because Leonardo DiCaprio is brilliant here, the movie will also teach you a couple sales tricks. Here’s to your next pitch in front of the client.
8. Sweet November (rating on IMDb: 6.7)
Wow, a melodrama in the list. Don’t wonder, though. The protagonists work in advertising, so you’ll be seeing a lot of work inside the advertising agencies. For marketers, the film is a chance to learn some selling techniques that are not too persuasive.
9. The Social Network (rating on IMDb: 7.7)
As you might know, the movie depicts the life of Mark Zuckerberg as he works on the development of Facebook. The movie has a beautiful spirits about genius ideas. It’s a must-watch for people who work in creative fields.
10. Wall Street (rating on IMDb: 7.4)
The movie discusses business in general. It has quite an important takeaway for marketers: it’s better to work on your own small project rather than speculate on someone else’s big business.
11. Lord of War (rating on IMDb: 7.6)
The film is about choosing a fit branch for business. Could interesting for those who are looking for ideas for a new business. Despite for some valuable conclusions, the movie is a detective with a twisted plot - so bring your popcorn and enjoy.
12. Scandal (rating on IMDb: 7.8)
TV series, 2012
The series is centered on the professional and personal life of the former Communications Director of the White House, Olivia Pope. We can see a lot of practices of crisis management, not to mention political technologies, hell-crazy drama, and twisted narrative.
13. Jerry Maguire (rating on IMDb: 7.3)
If you feel like you’ll never make it to the top, here’s a story about a man who felt the same way. He’s been almost swallowed up by the intrigues of his colleagues. And yet, he finds enough strength to come back to the square one.
14. Wag The Dog (rating on IMDb: 7.1)
Wag the dog is a term created by American PR-managers. Basically, it means taking the fuss out of one problem and directing it towards another one which is usually fake. It’s basically a handbook of public relations and political technologies.
15. Glengarry Glen Ross (rating on IMDb: 7.8)
One thing among many others on your list of reasons why you should watch this movie is the list of brilliant actors starring here. Where else can you find Al Pacino, Kevin, Spacey, and Alec Baldwin on the same screen? But if that’s not enough to convince you, the film can also teach you a lot about sales and competition.
16. Rocket Singh: Salesman of The Year (rating on IMDb: 7.5)
The movie 100% illustrates the practical application of “fake it till you make it” principle. The protagonist handles his imaginatory business perfectly, and eventually, his dream becomes a reality.
17. Thank You for Smoking (rating on IMDb: 7.6)
If I were to describe a movie in three words, those would be: ethics in business. The main guy is a Big Tobacco’s chief spokesman, trying to cope with a difficult task. He has to both promote smoking as a mass trend, and keep being a role model for his son.
18. Miss Sloane (rating on IMDb: 7.5)
The film gets us a peek of a brutal world of DC lobbyism. The story of a brilliant and ruthless lobbyist who became famous by the unparalleled talent and desire to win at any cost, even when it puts her job in jeopardy.
19. Death Of A Salesman (rating on IMDb: 7.3)
Elderly seller is losing faith in both himself and his job. He had no strength to move on. The movie makes you think about the cruelty of the society in which it is difficult to keep selling without selling out.
20. Boiler Room (rating on IMDb: 7.0)
A masterpiece that’s also a must watch for every seller and businessman. It’s become so iconic, that Ben Affleck’s motivational speech is discussed on lots of sales workshops and trainings. Yet, the movie is rather a 101 on How You Shouldn’t Sell.
21. The Founder (rating on IMDb: 7.2)
How to turn a small cafe into one of the biggest cultural and business phenomenons? Here’s a movie that put the secrets open. The movie covers the life and entrepreneur activities of Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s.
22. Pirates of Silicon Valley (rating on IMDb: 7.3)
Another movie that’s not missing the mark in telling the story of successful businessman. It sheds the light on lives of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.
23. Tommy Boy (rating on IMDb: 7.1)
A movie about a guy who just can't sell. But he has no way out so Tommy shakes of his fears and learns on the go. Besides from being highly useful from business standpoint, the movie also shows what happens when childhood ends in a blink of an eye. PS. It’s a good fit for something to watch with a kid.
24. Baby Boom (rating on IMDb: 6.2)
You keep selling stuff, signing deals, getting money? It’s important to take a step back, so you don’t sell what matters - love and life. The movie gives room for reflexion and shows that are jobs are not exactly the most important things in life.
25. A Thousand Words (rating on IMDb: 5.9)
It’s a hilarious comedy starring with Eddie Mercury. He plays a salesman whose main job is to talk people into buying. By chance, his life changes. He learns to appreciate words.
26. The Hucksters (rating on IMDb: 6.7)
Wanna try something extraordinary? How about a touch of retro and a chance to see how advertising looked like in late forties? The Hucksters portrays the life of World War 2 veteran, whose goal is to put advertising back on track.
27. Love & Other Drugs (rating on IMDb: 6.7)
The main message of the movie is money and success aren't everything in life. A good seller may be the only one who understands it. By the way, the picture shows the ins and outs of the pharmaceutical business.
28. Seize the Day (rating on IMDb: 6.1)
Even the good sellers are bad times in life. How not to break down when the whole world is against you? A guy played by Robin Williams is looking for the answer to this question.
29. Used Cars (rating on IMDb: 6.8)
As a salesman, you might think that success is dependent on the number of units sold. The main character of the movie thinks the same way. However, it turns out that success is much more complex than how much you sell.
30. Suckers (rating on IMDb: 6.7)
The slogan of a movie goes as follows: “Whatever You Do, Don't Buy Your Next Car Without Seeing This Movie!”. The movie shows the backstage of the activities of car dealers. How it matters for us? Here’s a thing to remember: everyone who enters a car store wants to buy a car.
31. Tin Men (rating on IMDb: 6.7)
Easy-going film about the struggle of two businessmen, manufacturers of finishing materials of aluminum. Due to a car accident, their paths intersect, and it turns out that they're competitors.That's enough to start a real "aluminum" war.
32. Other People’s Money (rating on IMDb: 6.1)
In this movie, there ain’t no brilliant direction, script, or camera angles. All there is, is a story of the war of two business sharks. If you are a tiny bit interested in business, it’s a good movie to watch.
33. Art School Confidential (rating on IMDb: 6.3)
The motto of the movie is “Who said anything about talent?”. It’s an awesome satirical comedy. The young artist Jeremy was confident in his abilities and skill, but once understood, that one’s talent cannot be glorified. He comes up with a cunning plan of his "promotion". The movie illustrates how modern art (advertising included) is rather about the vision than the talent.
34. Jobs: the Empire Temptation (rating on IMDb: 5.9 )
There’s hardly a person in this world that had more films shot about himself that Steve Jobs. This one offers a shifted perspective on the life of Apple founder. It’s hard to say whether any of that is true, but we get even more interest regarding Jobs’ personality.
35. Syrup (ratings on IMDb: 5.7)
The film is about a young employee of a large company, who is trying to take its place under the sun. The main values for young people are reputation and prestige. How to get those? Watch “Syrup” and find out.