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There are some truly incredible films about advertising and marketing. Get the inside scoop on the best advertising movies that have ever been made.

The best advertising and marketing films to watch

Anyone who works in an advertising and/or marketing agency knows how important visuals are to successfully promoting goods and services.

Video content makes it much easier for companies to get their message across to their target audience to boost sales and revenue.

On that basis, it is no surprise to find that the medium of advertising and marketing has often been explored by filmmakers.

Read on as we look at some of the best advertising and marketing films to watch.

The Social Network

When the Social Network was released in 2010, many critics panned it for being overly dramatic and failing to capture the true essence of the story behind Facebook.

While the film charts the founding of the social platform and the subsequent legal battles that followed, it also proved to be visionary in its view of its purpose.

Director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin unwittingly highlighted how Facebook’s primary aim was to manipulate personal data for financial gain.

The past decade has highlighted that Facebook is not the social connection tool Mark Zuckerberg made it out to be, but a vehicle for marketers and advertisers to sell their wares.

What Women Want

Set in a Chicago advertising firm, this movie takes a light-hearted look at the techniques used to cash in on women’s hopes and fears.

Nick Marshall (Mel Gibson) is chauvinistic ad executive who gains the ability to read female minds after electrocuting himself with a hairdryer in the bathtub.

He subsequently designs a series of ad campaigns using the knowledge he unscrupulously gleans from one of his female co-workers.

The film takes viewers on a journey which casually explores the ethics behind using information someone should not really have access to.

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

Many respected university lecturers recommend this movie as the essential guide to understanding how integrated advertising works.

The film takes a comprehensive look at how companies promote their goods through product placement in movies and television.

Interestingly, the movie was funded by corporate sponsorship, with POM Wonderful, Old Navy and Trident Gum amongst the brands who splashed the cash.

Dozens of notable personalities also appear in the film including Jimmy Kimmel, Quentin Tarantino and former US president Donald Trump.


This uplifting film charts the progress of advertising professionals whose lives were transformed after they lost their jobs.

Director Marc Colucci expertly looks at what happens to people who were once paid to be creative in their employment are forced to do the same with their own lives.

It exposes the brutality of how people are told they are no longer needed and how this impacted them personally and their families.

The film teaches you never to give up on your dreams and to use the setback of losing your job as a platform to pursue your true vocation in life.


This biographical drama film details the life of Steve Jobs – the man who was the driving force behind the technology behemoth Apple.

While Ashton Kutcher’s casting as Jobs is undoubtedly questionable, the movie does provide plenty of valuable lessons for anyone in the advertising and marketing industries.

The film starts with Jobs introducing the iPod in 2001, before jumping back to the mid-1970s where his journey up the entrepreneurial ladder began.

Although there are some notable inaccuracies in the script, the movie makes a decent fist of analysing how Jobs’ complex personality helped him become successful.

Thank You For Smoking (2005)

Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart) is a lobbyist for big tobacco companies who finds it difficult to balance the requirements of his job against his responsibilities as a father.

Naylor’s questionable morals are drawn into focus when a liberal senator (William H Macy) mounts an anti-smoking campaign that he must resist.

The film teaches you that while persistence can overcome resistance when marketing products, it is important not to ignore ethical concerns.

With an all-star cast that includes Rob Lowe, Katie Holmes and Robert Duvall, this satirical comedy is widely rated as one of the best advertising movies ever made.

How to Get Ahead in Advertising

While this 1989 black comedy fantasy is unrivalled as one of the strangest movies made during the decade, it is a must-watch for anyone with an interest in advertising and marketing.

Richard E Grant delivers and inspired performance as Denis Dimbleby Bagley, an emotionally disturbed ad executive who has ethical concerns about his job role.

While working on a slogan for a new pimple cream, Grant develops a split-personality that sprouts from his neck like a comedic tumour.

Top Hollywood actor Jim Carrey famously described Grant as a ‘genius’ for his work in the film – high praise from someone with a penchant for producing strong performances in wacky roles.

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