Movies based on advertising have been in the trend for a long time. Sought as the one of the most powerful mediums of expression movies are a sure shot way to communicate the language of advertising to the masses. The contribution of advertising on our daily life has been immense from billboards, posters to fliers and other forms of print, television and digital advertising.

Advertising is almost everywhere, making its presence felt strongly. Advertising impacts deeply upon the thought process of the society we are living in. The purchasing decision of people relies chiefly upon the way the brand has been positioned in the market. Advertising has the inherent power to either make or break or the brand by endowing it with a brand personality of its own. The nature of Advertising evolves and is subject to change according to the ongoing trends in the market. One of the strongest modes of communication is delegated to advertising and the intensive reach and impression that it creates on the mind of the consumer.

Movies are another such influential medium of communication wherein all the actors convey a strong social message. Human behavior, events, social evils etc. form the crux of a movie maker’s genius. Cinema can never fail to outreach since cinema speaks the language of the masses.  The magic of movies have compelled people to question their beliefs, the society and fundamentally everything happening in their vicinity.

To highlight the importance of advertising and the trials, tribulations, highs and lows one experiences while working in advertising companies, directors have created fascinating and thought provoking movies revolving around the agency life. These movies based on the theme of advertising provide you with an in-depth insight in to the world of advertising. We are well abreast about the superficiality and hypocrisy of advertising and the glamour associated with it. Our knowledge and understanding about the workings of the ad world is minimal. Movies that have focused on uncovering the layers of the ad world have educated the masses on what exactly happens at advertising firms.

Advertising movies are one of the finest mediums for showcasing advertising in an entirely different and unique manner. These movies shed light on how is that advertising actually operates, since only professionals working in advertising have knowledge on this. Before making a movie based on such an extensive profession, directors go through an intense and well shaped research. The substance derived from research forms the soul of the movie, and making it what it is. Movies based on Advertising range from lighthearted comedies to intense dramas. Well, you see even advertising has its share of fun, romance and drama.

The amalgamation of advertising and movies are a terrific combination. The theme of advertising is enough pedigree for movies to spin a story through and spill the wonders of advertising through cinematic excellence. We will be discussing about such rare movies based on advertising and the strong message that they impart with deeply moving performances by actors.  So, without any further delay we bring to you a list of 10 most creative movies made on the advertising world.

Advertising has also been an integral part of TV ranging from popular sitcoms such as ‘Bewitched’ to dramas like ‘Thirty Something’ and ‘America runs on Bulova Time’ as well. These famous TV re-runs based on the advertising world are fine examples on how Television and Advertising have beautifully meshed with each another. But nothing beats the adrenaline level of ‘Madmen’. SO, without further delay we present you with

1.       Advertising Rules (2001)

A German film by the original name of “Viktor Vogel–Commercial Man,” gives you a surprising and riveting take on the intrigue, mystery and idiosyncrasies involved in the extremely complex world of advertising. It sheds light on how a young unemployed man is caught in to a web of a massive advertising campaign. This foreign film is a definite list grabber in terms of the best advertising movies to be made in history and one that you must grab a copy of immediately.


2.       Putney Swope (1969)

This movie is based on the appointment of a token black man on the executive board of an ad agency. Once he comes in to the board he makes radical changes by replacing the white majority by black members. His dedication to his job in the ad agency was such that he refused to represent products that are harmful. He had prohibited being associated with businesses that dealt in alcohol, war toys or tobacco in any way and rechristens the advertising firm name as “Truth and Soul, Inc.”.


3.       AGENCY (1980)

Directed by George Kaczender, The Agency is also known as (The Mind Games) from their video telecast.  Shot in the rustic parts of Quebec and Montreal advertising political thriller, it showcases the manipulation of an advertising agency for a presidential campaign and the discovery of this underlying truth by their advertising copywriter Philip Morgan (Lee Majors).


4.       99 Francs (2007)

Adapted from a novel written by Frédéric Beigbeder from the same name, this movie is a satire on the advertising business in the modern world of today. This movie revolves around the protagonist Octave Parango (Jean Dujardin), a commercial advertising designer who leads a fast paced life comprising of fleeting one night stands and an active intake of drugs. The movie takes a twist when he gets into a long term commitment with Sophie (Vahina Giocante) and launches a fully fledged revolutionary attack on the business of advertising.


5.       Jerry Maguire (1996)

A classic in the advertising business is this 1996 movie based on a sports agent Jerry Maguire working for an advertising agency named Sports Management International (SMI) . He undergoes a life transforming revelation on the advertising discourses and the inherent hypocrisies prevalent in the sports advertising business. He decides to produce business based on quality by managing fewer clients upon whom he can contribute his fullest potential.


6.       Madmen (2007)

Set in the 1960’s, Madmen are an American period drama based on the world of advertising business. The drama is centered on a fictional advertising agency called Sterling Cooper. The show highlights the business of advertising as well as the personal lives of the characters of the drama series. The show has received positive reviews based on its script, performances as well as the historical credibility associated with it.


7.       Art and Copy (2009)

Showcased at the Sundance Film Festival in the US Documentary Competition ‘Art and Copy’, is a 2009 documentary film directed by Doug Prey giving an insight in to the business of advertising in the US. This movie is based upon and covers popular advertising campaigns such as “Just Do It”, “I Love New York”, “Where’s the Beef?”, “I Want My MTV”, “Got Milk?”, as well as “Think Different”.  The film went on to win the News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Arts & Culture Programming during 2011.


8.       In Good Company (2004)

In Good Company is a 2004 American film based on the life of advertising executive and head of sales Dan Foreman (Dennis Quaid) in his 50s.  Heading advertising for a sports magazine called ‘Sports America’, the movie speaks about how Dan Foreman’s company is acquired by a colossal international organization ‘Globecom’ that encourages and advertises the idea of “synergy”.


9.       How To Get Ahead In Advertising (1989)

A 1989 British film directed by Bruce Robinson is based upon a mentally weak advertising executive, Denis Dimbleby Bagley who undergoes a nervous breakdown amidst creating an advert for a pimple cream. The movie is a pun on the adverse effects of ‘blending in’ your personal with your professional life. It speaks about how the normal life of the protagonist spins out of control when he starts getting delusional.



10.   Nothing In Common (1986)

Starring Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason, this 1986 comedy drama film directed by Gary Marshall, is about how a cheerful advertising executive David Basner gets promoted for his work at his ad agency at Chicago. Amidst the unfolding of these events, he undergoes a family crisis when his parents post their 36 years of marriage decide to head for separation. At an outing with his father, David discovers that his father was suffering from diabetes and gangrene on his foot. As the movie continues David gets fired from his office because of his unavailability due to the treatment of his father’s foot. The story speaks about how the highly talented and successful David risks his shining advertising prospects at the agency to make time for his parents.

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