Let’s face it, we all love a good documentary binge from time to time, don’t we? Mad Men aside, however, there’s not exactly a massive amount of options for us ad types to choose from, sadly.
Which is why we’ve scoured the deepest, darkest corners of the internet to bring you five of the industry’s best documentaries. Just in time for your weekend binge session, no less…
The Men from the Agency – Whether you’re an inspiring ad student or a seasoned industry veteran, this BBC documentary is an absolute must for everyone. Documenting British advertising’s creative revolution in the 60s, The Men from the Agency (David Puttnam, Alan Parker and Charles Saatchi) chronicles the inner workings of CDP, arguably – although nobody’s actually arguing – the greatest creative agency of all-time.
John Webster: The Human Ad Man – Widely regarded as the greatest TV commercials creator in the history of British advertising, Webster was responsible for some of the world’s most iconic ads, not least the Smash Martians. In an industry seemingly obsessed with winning awards, Webster’s motivation was always to simply create great work and, as this 30-minute documentary shows, the proof is in the pudding.
Abstract: The Art of Design – Ok, so not technically an advertising documentary, but this eight-part Netflix series is a fascinating look at various design disciplines, meaning it had to make onto the list. From illustration to architecture, product to graphic design, this insightful, inspiring series delves into the minds of some of the world’s greatest creatives, fully justifying your Netflix subscription cost as a result.
A Spirited Case Study – From brief to execution and everything in between, this is a brilliant, behind the scenes look at the creative process at one of the world’s biggest agencies, Saatchi & Saatchi. Working on a campaign for Brazilian cachaca brand, Sagatiba, the creative produced by the agency is a true stroke of genius, once again outlining how the best ideas are always the most simple ones.
Art & Copy – A comprehensive lesson in advertising history, Art & Copy tells the story of some of the world’s most influential campaigns, using interviews from the likes of Mary Wells, Dan Wieden and Lee Clow to do so. What sets this documentary apart, however, is how other advertising-based stories – such as how TV satellites are launched and billboards are erected – are cleverly interwoven into the film.