As small business owners and participants in the world of advertising, we often need to be reminded of why we are here—why we do what we do. Some find motivation in the success of other similar companies. Some find it elsewhere…like in movies.
Here are five movies that are guaranteed to provide inspiration to the small business owner or the reluctant advertising newbie. A nice mix of laughs and tears, this list covers it all.
What Women Want
The title may be misleading at scream “chick flick” (and its heart, it is), but this is a great, if not slightly dramatized portrayal of cut-throat advertising. An ad campaign is the pivotal point between the lead characters s they develop a quirky relationship. There are even a few subtle references to really trying to determine the desires of your target audience (in this case…women).
What happens when a humble advertising employee begins to incorporate honesty into his pitches? His employers send him to a psychiatric ward where he can “recover.” Ironically, as he is away, the honest messages he worked on are accidentally shipped off to the printers; his ads become popular with the public and get massive results.
You’ve Got Mail
A faceless relationship conducted through e-mails is at the core of this film concerning small business vs. big business. Meg Ryan plays a small bookstore owner that is being faced with the prospect of closing down when a larger competitor, played by Tom Hanks, comes to town.
The head of Hudsucker Industries kills himself, leaving his position vacant. Afterwards, the board of directors decides to hire someone totally incompetent to fill the position. The hope here is that the new leader will ruin the company, causing stocks to plummet. The board assumes that they can then buy the company for pennies on the dollar and then run the company themselves. It’s a plan that might just work—until a dedicated reporter suspects their plans.
While the love story behind it can get a bit mooshy and overdrawn for some, this movie about a hot shot sports agent’s fall from grace is memorable, if for nothing else, for this segment of a mission statement he writes: “We are losing our battle with all that is personal and real about our business. Every day…driving home, I think of what was not accomplished, instead of what was accomplished.”