6 Lessons of Advertising and Marketing from Movies


No matter whether you are an advertiser or a media owner willing to sell your advertising space, it certainly will do you good to learn useful advertising and marketing lessons. Well, we aren’t talking about any educational materials – actually,  you have an amazing opportunity to relax and learn simultaneously – by watching movies about advertising business and marketers. The list of the best of the best films on the topic follows – enjoy!

What Women Want (2000)

It is unlikely that you haven’t seen this comedy starring Mel Gibson – as now it can be called an oldie. In short, it shows an advertising executive who receives a miraculous ability to “hear” women’s thoughts and uses it to succeed in his work.  


The golden rule this movie teaches is: knowing your target audience inside out is a critical element of success in creating an advertisement that works. Critical. Whatever it takes.

Mad Men (2007–2015)

This TV series has won numerous awards and is considered one of the best films about advertising industry. It depicts New York’s ad world of 1960, focusing on a prestigious ad agency and a very talented ad executive Don Draper.


You will learn that if you’ve got to fight if you want to win in advertising, and the fight is far from being fair.

Syrup (2013)

This drama, based on the best-selling novel, shows a young marketing executive who goes high and low trying to sell his “million dollars worth idea” to his boss and then sell the energy drink product (mere water and syrup) by creating the right brand image.


You can see valuable examples of how to attract consumers’ attention to the new product, and sell yourself. It also shows what’s hidden behind the pretty picture and what it takes to move forward in the cruel marketing world.

The Joneses (2010)

A sitcom that lives the idiom “Keep up with the Joneses” is a must-see if you want to see undercover marketing in action in real life.

In a few words, the movie is about a well-to-do family which moves in to a wealthy American suburb, who turn out to be not a family at all. They are a group of marketers who indirectly advertise different kinds of goods to unsuspecting neighbors. It is marvelous how strong is the people’s desire to “keep up with the Joneses”.


The film teaches a good lesson of what the hidden motives that drive consumers’ buying decisions are – the people tend to follow those whom they like.

Crazy People (1990)

An old, but definitely worthy movie about the truth in advertising. Sounds like an oxymoron? Well, this story is about an ad slogan writer who is fed up with inventing things that aren’t true and starts to create fair advertisements. Contrary to all expectations, the sales go up, but the writer ends up in a lunatic asylum. You think that’s the sad outcome? Well, it’s just the beginning.


Watch the movie to see examples of creating successful ads and using “the uncomforatable” truth for effective advertising.

Thank You for Smoking (2005)

This movie doesn’t advertise smoking, but it provides a great example of a professional marketer who has the most difficult mission in the industry – to sell what most people are against.


It is worth your while because you can learn how to deal with objections, win in discussions and succeed in the “doomed” campaigns. Also, you’ll see how effective being bald-headed in marketing can be.

Hopefully, you’ve found at least one film to spend a cozy evening both with pleasure and meaning. While you’re watching, TRACKLAM can be handling your advertising campaigns both digital and OOH, automating media booking and tracking the results. Check it out here: tracklam.com