1 week ago

5 films every marketing student needs to see

Everyone has their own list of ‘must see’ movies, but often different industries have their defining films as well. Marketing is no different, and if you’re studying marketing, here are five films you should definitely see.


Starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, on the surface this film is about a small baseball team and their manager. Underneath, however, it shows how important data is to decision making and what a difference it can make to outcomes when you make it a part of your process, even more so than money. Data is becoming more and more important to the modern marketer, so this film is no less important than it was when it was released in 2011.


This is not a film about job-hunting, in fact, this is a film all about Steve Jobs and his (triumphant) return to Apple. Unfortunately, it doesn’t cover the birth of the iPhone and Apple's surge to prominence in the smart-phone market, but there are still many relevant threads here. It shows the audience that products don’t sell themselves and that the face associated with them can be more important than the product itself. It also shows the importance of giving consumers what it is that they want and knowing how to put yourself in their shoes and target them.

The Social Network

The exponential growth of Facebook since its launch in 2004 as ‘TheFacebook’ is unique, and this telling of its origin and growth has a lot to offer marketers. The exclusivity of Facebook (originally only being offered to Ivy league college students) as part of its success, before being rolled out slowly to more and more colleges (and later the world) is just one of the lessons marketers could learn here.

What Women Want

This is an old one! You may have watched this a long time ago without even thinking about its relevance to marketing. Mel Gibson plays an advertising agent in the film who struggles to sell to women until he is suddenly able to hear what they are thinking. The importance of not only knowing but understanding what people want is a key message of the film, and of the marketing industry.

The Circle

The newest film on my list, having come out earlier this year, it tells the story of a young woman (played by Emma Watson) who gets a job at a tech company. The film has important things to say about privacy in an increasingly digital world. As marketers, consumer data is often highly prized, but how far do we want to go when gathering data? This film shows a potentially dark future for technology, one we may want to avoid!

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