In our day to day job, we are all storytellers. Whether you are marketer, innovator or brand strategist, we help brands and companies connect with their audience through stories, and experiences.
Movies and TV are stories brought to life, and I think it’s important from time to time to look outside our industry for inspiration. Here are three movies and TV shows I would recommend you watch…not just for entertainment, but for inspiration in your career:
20 Feet from Stardom Featurette
This is a must see documentary regardless if you work in marketing/insight/innovation or not. It won an Oscar for “Best Documentary” in 2014, and these women are truly inspiring.
But what can it teach us?
- Being a great marketer or innovator is about being a team player. Being part of a team makes the result better, just like a backup singer makes a song fuller, deeper and more dynamic. I learn every day because I work with people that challenge and inspire me, and know I am the better for it.
- Creativity is essential to our job, and most of us have creative interests outside of work – music/writing/improv, etc. However, learning when to use it and when to rein it in is a fine art. This is true of backup singers – they need to learn when to blend in and when to stand out. Bringing your own creativity to a challenge can only be a benefit, learning when to use it will be the silver bullet.
This is one of my all-time favorite films. It’s an entertaining, action thriller with Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper and Sandra Bullock. But why should you watch it if you work in brand and marketing, and/or insight and innovation. One word: negotiation skills.
In our business, negotiation skills are important. Whether it’s negotiating a contract, or understanding what you need to keep and what you need to give away when selling an idea into the business; learning negotiation is crucial to being a great innovator or marketer. You need to be able to understand people’s motivates, aspirations and desires or how to help a business achieve success. Speed will show you how…
Freaks and Geeks Clip
Freaks and Geeks was a show that never got the credit it deserved at the time but became a cult hit later on.
However, it isn’t just a must see but also shows us two things:
- Strategy is just as important as product. Everything we create needs to have a strategy behind it. At the time, Judd Apatow wasn’t able to publicize the show via the NBC website due to NBC’s fear of losing viewers to the internet (in 1999). This led to people not knowing where and when to watch it, and it not being renewed for a second series.
- It also shows us how to connect with your audience; it taps into the frustrations of youth in white middle class America. It understands what makes people tick – a sense of belonging, search for meaning and that we all just want to be accepted. Connecting with your audience makes TV great, and brands, products and services successful. Freaks and Geeks does this beautifully.