Five films for marketers to watch and be inspired by in coronavirus times.
With quarantine and stay-at-home rules extending from days to weeks and even longer, marketers are finding it increasingly hard to stay put. Let’s face it, by the very nature of our work, marketers tend to be extroverts, so there is only so much solitude we can enjoy. However, considering that we live in the golden age of digital streaming, sitting at home and recharging the old marketing grey matter with some entertainment may be a good option, rather than going nuts attempting to break the rules and unnecessarily risk catching COVID-19.
Here are five films to inspire the indoor indentured marketer in the age of the coronavirus.
1. Lover Come Back
This 1961 classic stars Doris Day, Rock Hudson and Tony Randall as three high-powered executives battling for accounts during the glory days of Madison Avenue ad agencies in New York. With ample doses of mistaken identities, professional neuroses and underhanded competitiveness, the film is a laugh-a-thon that speaks to the power of good old-fashioned advertising in its heyday.
2. What Women Want
The battle of the sexes is laid bare in this 2000 film, starring Mel Gibson and the talented Helen Hunt. The film shows brash alpha male Gibson acquiring the ability to hear the innermost thoughts of all women due to a freak accident. While the film received mixed reviews on its release, it went on to become a classic 20 years later, spawning a loose remake (What Men Want) and even a Chinese version in 2009.
Starring Eddie Murphy at the height of his fame and backed by a talented cast, including Robin Givens and Halle Berry, Boomerang is an old school rom-com of high-powered marketing executives competing to get ahead with ensuing hilarity and a plot revolving around getting your just desserts.
4. The Social Network
With the ever-present shadow of social media the dominant influence on marketing, no list of inspiring marketing films would be complete without The Social Network - a biopic based on the life of Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. The film, starring Jesse Eisenberg, is a riveting account of how Zuckerberg got his start and is adapted from the 2009 book, The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich. The spirit of the film is rightly captured by its introductory caption “You don’t make 500 million friends without making a few enemies”.
5. The Joneses
As marketers now live in the age of social media influencers and having to contend with their (not always positive) influence, it’s good to give a nod to a film that long ago recognised this upcoming trend before it became mainstream. Released in 2009, The Joneses is a comedy starring David Duchovny (of X-Files fame) and Demi Moore, posing as a family next door of “in-person” marketers who move into communities and pose as a successful family with an aspirational lifestyle revolving around various products that they then subliminally sell to their peers through lifestyle influencing and product placement methods. The film, when released, received mixed to positive reviews but since then has taken on a large fan following thanks to the incremental growth of social media influencing in modern marketing.
So, there you have it. Let me know in the comments below if there are other films that you feel should make it to this list. Stay healthy, stay safe and stay indoors. Happy watching!
Tariq Ziad Khan is a US-based marketer and a former member of Aurora’s editorial team. firstname.lastname@example.org.