25 Movies, Series, and Documentaries Every eCommerce Marketer Must See

Inspiration can come from anywhere – even films. Books are great to read and provide a solid perspective on things to help you achieve your goals. However, a visual, sound, and seeing humans play a role can be more effective sometimes. It conveys a more powerful message because you get to see everything in action rather than attempt to picture the words coming to life in your head. Yes, even the quintessential ecommerce market can learn a thing or two from some films. We are taking a bit left field with this one. Here are some movies every ecommerce marketer must see.

1.  The Men Who Built America
Look at the image and the names below. That just screams inspiration. Here’s a brief rundown of this miniseries.

Released: 2012
IMDB Rating: 8.6
Awards: 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 wins & 5 nominations.
Plot: This is a miniseries that focuses on builders, thinkers and influential people who have really shaped modern America. From steel, automobiles, railroads and more, it gets you to think outside of the box to create your own destiny. Great inspiration for the budding entrepreneur.

2. The Godfather
Released: 1972
IMDB rating: 9.2
Awards: 3 Oscars. Another 30 Wins and 19 nominations.
Plot: This is classic movie on the Italian mafia family. It takes a lot to operate any kind of business even a corrupt one. It shows a lot on how family can work together to take a small business operation into something nationwide and even overseas.

3.  Wall Street
Released: 1987
IMDB Rating: 7.4
Awards: 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins and 3 nominations.
Plot: This is a classic corruption story. Do you take advantage of your market in a very illegal manner or do you abide by the rules and play it fair? Surprisingly, this also had an impact on how things are traded today based on the movie to show what can happen and the nature of inside trading. It’s certainly something one can learn to keep the integrity of their business.

4.  Shark Tank
Released: 2009
IMDB Rating: 7.3
Awards: 1 Primetime Emmy. Won another 3 awards and 15 nominations.
Plot: A great look into entrepreneurs pitching startups to different capitalists. It’s important to create something of value just in case you do decide to partner up with other people. What is your driving force that you know has the potential to serve a certain audience?You’ll learn a lot about developing a solid plan to entice someone to invest in your business.

5.  Triumph of The Nerds: An Irreverent History of The PC Industry
Year Released: 1996
IMDB Rating: 8.5
Plot: This a three part  documentary that showcases the history of computers, from the 1970s to the beginning of the Dot-com boom of the mid to late 1990s. Evolution is a part of business and it’s important to not be left by the wayside. Great for thinking outside of the box.

6.  Indie Game: The Movie
Released: 2012
IMDB Rating: 7.8
Awards: 3 wins and 6 nominations.
Plot: This about the independent gaming industry. As a small business owner, it’s all about creating a strong niche that helps you stand out from big name competitors.

7.  Pirates of Silicon Valley
Released: 1999
IMDB Rating: 7.2
Awards: Nominated for 5 Primetime Emmys. 2 other wins and 4 nominations.
Plot: Gives a great history on brand giants Microsoft and Apple. Great documentary to learn how to trailblaze through your competition and influence the way people think and feel.

8.  The Call of The Entrepreneur
Released: 2007
IMDB Rating: 6.9
Awards: No awards currently
Plot: This is unique story on a merchant banker, dairy farmer, and a refugee from China. It goes to show that all people have different reasons for getting into business and you have your own unique thing that you desire fulfill. No matter the background or adversity you can get it done through the right perseverance.

9.  The Startup Kids
Released: 2012
IMDB Rating: 6.8
Awards: No awards currently
Plot: This shows young web entrepreneurs getting involved in startups and newly established businesses. You’ll get interviews from founders of companies like Dropbox, Soundcloud, and Vimeo. Perfect for new ecommerce marketers to get inspired on innovative startups can turn into big business.

10.  The Pursuit of Happyness
Released: 2006
IMDB Rating: 7.9
Awards: Nominated for 1 Oscar. Won 12 awards and 21 nominations.
Plot: This is about a guy named Chris Gardner who perseveres through being a struggling salesman, single father, and to obtain a position at Dean Witter. It takes a lot of guts and inner strength to go in any field and sometimes we might face a lot of adversity. However, don’t let it deter you from your ultimate goal.

11.  Forrest Gump
Released: 1994
IMDB Rating: 8.8
Awards: 6 Oscars. 40 other wins and 47 nominations.
Plot: This is about a guy who starts off mentally and physically challenged but ends up changing the world in his own way. He generally does what he loves and achieves. A lot of people don’t actualize their gifts and actually turn that into a career. It shows life too short to be less than great and yourself.

12.  The Game
Released: 1997
IMDB Rating: 7.8
Awards: 1 nomination.
Plot: The movie focuses on a wealthy San Francisco banker played by Michael Douglas whose life is all tied into his business. His brother gives him a live-action game for his birthday that really changes his current standing in life. This movie shows that certain decisions you make can ultimately affect you but shouldn’t consume you.

13.  Trading Places
Released: 1983
IMDB Rating: 7.5
Awards: Oscar nominated.  3 other wins and 4 nominations.
Plot: This is a story featuring an investor and a street con. They are the guinea pigs of a scam from two owners of a brokerage in which they switch the lives of both the con and investor. The story shows that it doesn’t matter where you are from but how you adapt to the situation. Anyone can be successful if put in the right situation.

14.  Wolf of Wall Street
Released: 2013
IMDB Rating: 8.2
Awards: Nominated for 5 awards. Another 47 wins and 128 nominations.
Plot: The quintessential story of a guy that goes from nothing to something. Although some of the means are a bit corrupt, it shows a certain tenacity one must have to succeed. You’ll see that even in ecommerce you can literally start with baby steps and eventually create your own empire.

15.  The Social Network
Released: 2010
IMDB Rating: 7.8
Awards: 3 Oscars. Another 168 wins and 134 nominations.
Plot: It’s based on Mark Zuckerberg’s years at Harvard as a simple programmer. He changes the game by taking an idea about creating connections on campus through an online network. This turns into a billionaire business before he turns 30. It goes to show that a simple idea can really be valuable in the right format.

16.  The Aviator
Released: 2004
IMDB Rating: 7.5
Awards: Won 5 Oscars. 78 other wins and 92 nominations.
Plot: This is a great movie showing how someone that grew up in the drill bit business can go another route that seems a bit less feasible. From movies to airplanes, he really became an incredible business magnate. Even in ecommerce you can diversify your business and become much bigger than you originally thought.

17.  Startup.com
Released: 2001
IMDB Rating: 7.1
Awards: 12 wins and 4 nominations.
Plot: It’s documentary detailing the start of the internet boom in the 1990s. You get great information on startups and how they affected things at the time. It’s a nice lesson plan for  any starting entrepreneurs who want to foray into something bigger. There’s great inspiration to start your own ecommerce site and take it past just a storefront but creating it into an incredible brand globally.

18.  Art and Copy
Released: 2009
IMDB Rating: 6.8
Awards: 2 wins and 1 nomination.
Plot: Doug Pray takes you into the realm of advertising and inspiration. It showcases the work of some very influential people. As an ecommerce marketer, advertising is an integral part of business because it showcases creativity as well as keeping an effective outlook on how to market your brand.

19.  Downloaded
Released: 2013
IMDB Rating: 6.8
Awards: 1 nomination.
Plot: Get some insight in how downloading has affected not only the recording industry but other businesses as well. Get great details into the start of downloading music, Napster, to inspire your own. Digital downloads have ultimately changed the face of business forever.

20.  E-Dreams
Released: 2001
IMDB Rating: 6.8
Awards: None
Plot: It follows the highs and lows of the dot com boom. You’ll get a look at an early market crash in April 2000. It’s not easy maintaining an online presence. Having an online business is very important these days but you certainly need to diversify your storefront to gain traffic from social media, video sites, and email marketing to help you create a more sustainable business.

21.  Riot On!
Released: 2004
IMDB Rating: 6.2
Awards: 3 wins and 1 nomination.
Plot: It starts from the year 2000 and gets into the mobile phone craze with companies such as Nokia who have invested in a firm called Riot Entertainment. It’s amazing how even ecommerce companies are creating phone apps or teaming up with different app providers to create a certain functionality on mobile devices. This documentary is certainly a great trailblazer into how modern technology advances at a speedily rate.

22.  Something Ventured
Released: 2011
IMDB Rating: 7
Awards: 1 nomination
Plot: It showcases the successes of companies such as Apple, Intel, Genentech, Atari, Google, and more. There are high stakes with each company and it goes to show you the level of work put in to see things through on a prosperous level. It’s certainly inspiring for the budding marketer to keep them motivated to achieve great feats within their own realm.

23.  Beer Wars
Released: 2009
IMDB Rating: 6.9
Awards: None
Plot: This is the classic story of big bank vs little bank. There are thousands of breweries out there and craft beer is starting to make its own name in the industry. This kind of documentary is relatable on a number of fronts to ecommerce. There are small and large companies who have a place in the market but it’s always about finding a great medium between being unique and creating appeal to the target audience.

24.  Helvetica
Released: 2007
IMDB Rating: 7.2
Awards: 3 nominations.
Plot: A quality documentary on the fields of typography, graphic design, and global visual culture. All ecommerce marketers should take a look at this documentary because visual dynamics are an important aspect of the business. A well functioning site with sleek designs that doesn’t hurt the overall mission of the brand will create longevity in business. There’s a lot to learn about how these fields can elevate your brand.

25.  This Space Available
Released: 2011
IMDB Rating: 7.8
Awards: None
Plot: Billboards and commercial messages certainly dominate public space and the airwaves. This documentary argues whether or not it’s too much for our eyes and minds to see all of these different messages across the nation. As an ecommerce market, you want spaces to advertise your brand but in a tasteful manner. You never want to become too saturated that you create a vibe that happens to turn your target audience away.

These are some of the great movies, documentaries, and series that will help not only inspire you but give keen knowledge into your brand. A visual element not only provides more entertainment value but there’s emotion and the human factor you normally wouldn’t get from simple text. Use these movies as a guide to create your ecommerce brand. What are some of your favorite business movies to watch that spark your brain? Leave a comment below.

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11 Response to "25 Movies, Series, and Documentaries Every eCommerce Marketer Must See"

  1. Comment From Jon Tomas

    I watch Shark Tank every week and find that the nuggets of Wisdom dropped by the Sharks is invaluable. I also love the drama of the negotiations.

  2. Comment From Bill Leberman

    Wall Street is one of my favorite movies of all time. It was one of the first movies that showed a different side of corporate greed.

  3. Comment From Willie Jefferson

    This is a great least of movies. If I can only find time to watch the ones that I have not seen. This blog post will most definitely go on my list of must see movies. If I ever get stranded in the house, I have plenty of great movies to watch. Thanks guys!

  4. Comment From Sam Henderson

    I’m in the field of Graphic design and I personally feel that the movie Helvetica is a must see for all Graphic Designers.

  5. Comment From Lisa

    Set Blogging to be your most important marketing tool, promoting on autopilot your product by any hot trend no matter what niche, and get targeted traffic and get potential buyers from Facebook and Twitter that are the main source of buyers, all on autopilot working as small enterprise.

  6. Comment From Chester Guilo

    I have seen many of the movies on this list, however there are a few that I had never heard of that seem very interesting. I look forward to watching.

  7. Comment From Gregory Newton

    I think the movie Downloaded is a must see for anyone in the music industry. It really shows how we got to the current space we are in now with streaming music and the inevitable death of the CD.

  8. Comment From Tina Williamson

    The movie Startup.com has so many lessons for startup businesses, I feel it should be required. I’m only half way through it and I have taken pages of notes.

  9. Comment From Fredrick Jacobson

    I look forward to watching the movie Space available. It seems really appropriate for anyone in the advertising business.

  10. Comment From Behrad

    Thanks for sharing! These movies are so great for they inspire those who need inspiration!!

  11. Pingback: 25 movies, series & documentaries that should be in every ecommerce marketer's watchlist.

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