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5 Movies That Will Inspire Marketers

by Colleen Mustard on July 8th, 2020

Besides being a die-hard music lover, I am also an avid movie fan.  Always have been, always will be. It’s my escape from reality. My second go-to when I need to relax and unwind. Movies are therapeutic, educational and in many cases, inspiring.

Since we are in the business of digital marketing, I thought it fitting to write about movies that depict our field in some way or the other and what marketing lessons we can learn from them. If you’ve never watched any of these movies, I suggest you make the time to.

I have compiled a list of my top 5 movies that have a marketing theme or feel to them. I hope you find them as inspiring as I did.

#1 – The Social Network

The Social Network is a biographical drama that tells the gripping story of how Facebook was created, it’s rise to fame and the lawsuits involved. It’s a film written by Aaron Sorkin and is based on the book “The Accidental Billionaires” by American author Ben Mezrich.

It stars Jesse Eisenberg as the brilliant, but socially awkward Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. It’s a film about jealousy, betrayal and the hunger for success. The dialogue is fast and smart. It offers great insight into the how Zuckerberg thought, and the obstacles he had to overcome to make Facebook the social network giant it is today. Looking back, he was a visionary genius

What we can learn from this movie:

  • Make your products or services “exclusive” – Mark saw the value of this because Facebook users needed a Harvard email address unlike Friendster and MySpace users. People aways tend to want the things that aren’t so easy to obtain.
  • Expand your idea, products or services by using influencers – If you know some VIP’s in the industry, then reach out and let them talk about your ideas to other well-connected people.

#2 – Jobs

This is a biographical drama film based on the life of American business magnate Steve Jobs. It stars Ashton Kutcher as Jobs and follows his life from 1974 to 2001.  We get to know him as a student at Reed College (which he dropped out of) all the way to the introduction of the IPod in 2001

What we can learn from this movie:

  • Don’t try to be better than your competitors, try to be different
  • Know what your consumers want even if they don’t know themselves.
  • Give them something they can’t live without.

#3 – Thank You For Smoking

Thank you for smoking is a dark comedy starring Aaron Eckhart as Nick Naylor –  Big Tobacco’s chief spokesman. Nick is a tobacco lobbyist who uses his talent of persuasion and extremely slick tactics to promote and defend the tobacco industry.

What we can learn from this movie:

  • If you market your product the right way, you can convince people that something is good for them even though it is not.
  • Persuasion is a powerful thing
  • Your consumers always have the freedom of choice

#4 – The Circle

The Circle is a techno-thriller starring Emma Watson as Mae Holland, a woman who lands her dream job at a powerful social media tech company called The Circle. You will be forgiven for thinking she was hired by Google, Apple or Facebook.

Mae moves on to become part of a ground-breaking experiment at The Circle that eliminates all privacy.  

What we can learn from this movie:

  • Technology is two-faced. It improves peoples lives but also infringes on human rights.
  • New innovations can also be very necessary and advantageous if used wisely.
  • A lot of people “follow the crowd” and are easily influenced

#5 – MoneyBall

Moneyball is a 2011 biographical sports drama film starring Brad Pitt. He plays Billy Beane, The Oakland A’s baseball team general manager. Billy earns the lowest salary in baseball and needs to get a competitive edge if he wants a chance at winning the world series.

The baseball industry is dominated by teams that have colossal payrolls but Billy beats the odds to make the Oakland A’s become one of the best teams in baseball in 2002. With a limited budget, Beane and his assistant GM Peter Brand, build a team of highly undervalued and talented players by using a sabremetric approach to scouting. Sabermetrics makes use of statistical analysis to analyze player performance and baseball records.

What we can learn from this movie:

  • Make data-driven decisions
  • Use statistical data to analyze and place value on the people who work for you
  • Use analytical approaches to projects

In conclusion

That concludes my top 5 but I thought I would give this one an honourable mention. The Pursuit of Happyness starring Will Smith. It’s based on the true-life story of a single father who went from being homeless to owning his own brokerage firm.

It shows the power of the human spirit to overcome almost any obstacle that get’s thrown in front of them. Courage and determination wins in the end.

Till next time……Here is your quote of the day

“Every time I go to a movie, it’s magic, no matter what the movie’s about.”

Steven Spielberg

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