Hollywood and Advertising: Through time immemorial

Have you ever seen the movie “Nothing In Common” where Tom Hanks was an ad executive? “What Women Want” had Mel Gibson having the power to hear women’s thoughts to make ads for women. Or do you follow the multi-Emmy awarded series “Mad Men”? The one that’s common to these three is that they portray your not so typical to the very typical advertising people. I can name you a lot more films or TV series where this genre is involved. The point is, Hollywood seems to have a fascination with the advertising industry: what makes it tick, why are people into it, what’s it all about.

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Getting the facts right

If you watch movie about a pilot, and you hear someone laughing so hard at the back of the theatre, chances are that guy is a pilot and Hollywood, once again got the facts about flying or landing a plane, wrong! Same with medical TV dramas or films. More often than not, Hollywood gets it all mixed up or even downright absurd. And don’t get me started with the films involving lawyers! One lawyer even mentioned that Hollywood does not know anything about the law. But why do they still make these films? It’s because people love these kinds of dramas in the big screen and people want to know the life intricacies and procedures of these folks.


Making big money

Now back to advertising. So what’s the draw of advertising and mass media that people love to know so much about? This is not for the general viewing public though. This genre has a select audience, one that’s related to or can be found among bloggers, columnists, opinion-makers, a bit more educated viewers and of course, from people who are in the advertising business themselves. With this niche, is there big money if we keep making these kinds of films? The answer of course, is yes. People like to know how ad men work. They want to know how ads get made and how ad execs make the big bucks!


We want more!

In the film, “Nothing in Common”, Tom Hanks made a pitch for an airline company. The ad execs loved it because it portrayed the airline as caring, loving and warm especially to the elders. I was even touched by it? Probably because I could relate to it. If I had my grandma go on an airplane, I’d want that kind of service for her. And so the audience goes, “Ahh so that’s how they make those ads! We want to see more!”


We love the creative ads or the promotion banners we see all over the city, but do we really know who are behind these ads? We love the billboards of Apple, Nike and Qantas, but who made that logo, or who thought of that slogan, who came up with the kangaroo?


Advertising people work behind the scenes and the world does not know the real image of these people, only by how Hollywood portrays them. This is why Hollywood loves giving us, time and time again, an intriguing and informative but highly entertaining film about the advertising business. It really doesn’t matter if it depicted accurately or not as long as it is there to entertain us!




Author Bio: Daniel Evans

A bibliophile and an art-lover, Daniel was a “misunderstood” lad back in his younger years. Fast forward to the professional world, he uses his passions and his knack for PR and now he’s working on several projects for Digital Marketing campaigns.  Now during his free time he likes to talk about creative ideas and advertising guerrilla tactics that just blow the minds of many.


Hollywood and Advertising: Through time immemorial
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