So, you’ve decided you want a career in digital marketing? Whatever phase you are at on your quest... from compelling documentaries to glistening Hollywood pictures, we’ve gathered a list of films about marketing that will get you in the right vibe.
They'll give any aspiring digital marketer a creative and inspirational boost, whether you are about to knuckle down to study or send out another round of job applications.
Think about it, why bury your head in books - or whatever the digital eLearning equivalent of that is - when you can crack out the popcorn and film binge your way into a career in digital marketing? Okay, so it’s still best to get in some proper professional development training with a few online marketing courses, but throw these digital marketing movies into your evening schedule and not only do you get to have some downtime, you can validate it in the name of study. Result.
1. The Internship: revel in Google life with Hollywood's best
“A gratuitous spruik for the money churning web giants but not without moments of wit. The duo rediscover a little of their old magic.”
James White, Empire
If Google is a mountain you want to climb as one of the top Digital Marketing companies, then who better to give you the guided tour than Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson? After they both lose their jobs as old school salesmen, you get to watch them fight it out for an internship at Google.
The promise and opportunity of the Google Campus is kinda like the digital marketers version of a chocoholics trip to a Chocolate Factory. This digital marketing movie is especially good if you are a mature student or facing a career change, encouraging you - millennial or not - to embrace your strengths and your old school knowledge of, say… Flash Dance?
Billy/Vince: "This reminds me of a little girl from a steel town who had the dream to dance. She had to strip down to nothing. She had to sit in that chair and arch her back and she reached up and pulled the chain to nowhere and doused herself with water!"
Stuart: "Flashdance? You're talking about the movie from the 80s?"
Billy: "Yeah, you're damn right I am."
Watch this one before you dive in to write your CV or create a killer covering letter.
2. The Social Network: get fired up by the Facebook story
“The Social Network is a hard charging beast of a movie with a full tank of creative gas that keeps it humming from start to finish - hell of a middle, too.”
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Oh Facebook, you are at times a little clingy, but we know things wouldn’t be the same without you. Most importantly, it wouldn’t even exist with Mr Zuckerberg, who was once just a dude with an idea and the confidence to see it through.
Getting an inside view of the early days when Facebook was just an idea is the perfect way to gain the empowerment you need to push through and develop your own career. So you can push forwards and create click moments like this one:
Mark Zuckerberg: People came to Facemash in a stampede, right?
Eduardo Saverin: [shivering] Yeah...
Mark Zuckerberg: But it wasn't because they saw pictures of hot girls. You can go anywhere on the Internet and see pictures of hot girls.
Mark Zuckerberg: It's because they saw pictures of girls that they knew. People want to go on the internet and check out their friends so why not build a website that offers that? Friends, pictures, profiles, whatever you can visit, browse around, maybe it's someone you just met at a party. I'm not talking about a dating site. I'm talking about taking the entire social experience of college and putting it online
Eduardo Saverin: I can't feel my legs...
Mark Zuckerberg: I know. I'm totally psyched about this too
If you are a social media buff or see yourself as the next Zuckerberg and want to make your ideas into a reality, this is the movie for you.
3. Noah: embrace digital immersion in this short film
If you’re more into documentaries than Hollywood sparkle, then you’ll love this groundbreaking short film. It explores the way young people interact through social media, chronicling a break up through the lense of Facebook, Skype and Chatroulette. Whether you consider yourself to be a millennial and want to better understand yourself, or are a little digitally shy and want to gain a deeper understanding of the audience - watching Noah is a fascinating way to do it. You see in its raw form multiple levels of connectedness without any real connection.
Watching this beauty is both a harrowing and compelling way to gain a deeper understanding of contemporary times and get into the mindset of millennials and generation Z. The perfect pick if you are about to get your head into a social media strategy or study audience analysis. No movie quotes for this one unfortunately, but it’s only 17 minutes long so get watching in your lunch break.
4. Minority Report - 2002: the zeitgeist of personalised marketing
“...it is just about possible to read Minority Report as a brilliant allegory for a hi-tech police state which bullies villains and law-abiding citizens alike with self-fulfilling prophecies of wrongdoing: a new kind of thoughtcrime - intentioncrime, perhaps.”
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Minority Report’s depiction of personalised marketing is becoming less difficult to imagine. The clue-gathering interface - complete with pinch to zoom and swipe to close - seems positively prescient in today’s world of smartphone apps and Xbox’s Kinect. Plus, those iris enabled, personalised ads “Hello Mr. Yakamoto and welcome back to the GAP” feel exactly like where Google will be in a decade or three. A film packed with universe sized mind blowing moments like this:
John Anderton: Why'd you catch that?
Danny Witwer: Because it was going to fall.
John Anderton: You're certain?
Danny Witwer: Yeah.
John Anderton: But it didn't fall. You caught it. The fact that you prevented it from happening doesn't change the fact that it was *going* to happen.
The perfect film to get you into the realms of personalised marketing and dream big about what could be possible and how you could have a part in that evolution.
5. Her - 2013: operating system status “It’s Complicated”
“Few movies capture the magic and the heartbreak of falling in love in an unexpected, mind bending way; ‘Her’ is one of them.”
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
If you thought human relationships were complicated then try falling in love with your operating system. In this movie, greeting card writer and hipster clad fashionista Theodore falls in love with his Scarlett Johansson voiced operating system, Samantha. Well, she does have a nice voice! Another good movie if the psychology of audiences and idea of total digital immersion makes you tick. Could we simulate love via technology? Is it possible to fall in love with a computer? Perhaps, especially if personality is in the mix:
Samantha: Is that weird? You think I'm weird?
Theodore: Kind of.
Theodore: Well, you seem like a person but you're just a voice in a computer.
Samantha: I can understand how the limited perspective of an unartificial mind might perceive it that way. You'll get used to it.
Samantha: Was that funny?
Samantha: Oh good, I'm funny!
A great one to watch if you are curious about the emergence of audio content marketing and the impact technology advancements will have on marketing.
6. Nerve: an extreme example of anonymity and community engagement
“...a smart and visually sizzling movie about a livestreamed game with sinister consequences.”
Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian
A high school senior finds herself immersed in an online game of truth or dare, where her every move starts to become manipulated by an anonymous community of "watchers." Perfect if you’re curious about the marketing potential of mobile games and Pokemon Go marketing. Of course this flick takes the concept to the extreme, but as we all witnesses with Pokemon Go, who's to say this level of immersion and insanity isn’t entirely plausible at this point?
Vee: What happens if I bail?
Ian: You lose everything.
Experiencing community engagement, anonymity and the potential of mobile games to this extreme is a great way to expand your mind as a marketer and prepare for that session on social media strategy and mobile marketing.
See also: online social media courses
Turn those square eyes to the sky
What are you waiting for? Gather your colleagues or digital marketing study buddies and make your way through that lot until your eyes are square and your minds are blown.
When you’re done with this lot, not only will you be filled with inspiration, mind bending knowledge, and let’s face it a little too much popcorn and a crush on at least one of the characters - you will also be able to look to the sky and dream big.
Knowing that you, just like Mark Zuckerberg, are a student with the power to drive your destiny and fulfil your digital marketing aspirations against all odds. Now, you can work your way through your digital marketing training as you prepare for world domination.