25 Best Advertising Movies Ever Made

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Trying to name the best movies about advertising is something we've all done, but the results are usually far from scientific. Take Crazy People for instance. Hilarious ads; not such a great movie. So, we decided to try to rank ad-related movies in some relatively accurate way. Thus was born the AdFreak Ad Flick Index, cobbled together from critic and user scores on Rotten Tomatoes, along with critic scores on IMDB. (And yes, if you really give a crap, you can read the methodology, posted at the end of this feature.) Without further ado, here they are: The 25 best movies about the ad industry, as ranked by the ineffable judgment of dubious science. Watch the montage below—and below that, the list, with clips of each film.

Two agencies compete for a sanitary-napkin account by floating very different campaign slogans: "Your own personal air supply" versus "The pad ain't bad!"

• AdFreak rating: 4.00

  • Renaissance Man (1994)

    Laid off from his Detroit advertising job, Bill Rago (Danny DeVito) takes the only work he can find: teaching English fundamentals to under-performing U.S. soldiers.

    • AdFreak rating: 4.62

  • Every Home Should Have One (1970)

    British ad creative Teddy Brown (Marty Feldman) is tasked with creating a sexy new campaign to sell porridge.

    • AdFreak rating: 4.70

  • Boomerang (1992)

    Advertising hotshot and womanizer Marcus Graham (Eddie Murphy) gets a taste of his own medicine as he's toyed with by powerful women at his corporation.

    • AdFreak rating: 4.94

  • Crazy People (1990)

    Bitter adman Emory Leeson (Dudley Moore) creates "honest" ads that accidentally go public, with lines like "Buy Volvo. They're boxy but they're good."

    • AdFreak rating: 5.18

  • Ex-Lady (1933)

    A glamorous New York graphic artist (Bette Davis) reluctantly marries her ad-agency business partner, but soon both are secretly dating clients and competitors.

    • AdFreak rating: 5.23

  • Take a Letter, Darling (1942)

    Two agency co-workers, played by Rosalind Russell and Fred MacMurray, fall in love while working to land a tobacco account.

    • AdFreak rating: 5.27

  • Nothing in Common (1986)

    Ad exec David Basner (Tom Hanks) tries to focus on his career at a Chicago agency while dealing with his obstinate father (Jackie Gleason).

    • AdFreak rating: 5.30

  • Beer (1985)

    Three losers, including one played by David Allen Grier, accidentally break up a robbery and are hired to star in an agency's macho new ad campaign for a beer client.

    • AdFreak rating: 5.33

    1. The Arrangement (1969)

      Miserable ad executive Eddie Anderson (Kirk Douglas), whose only solace is his affair with co-worker Gwen (Faye Dunaway), re-evaluates life after attempting suicide.

      • AdFreak rating: 5.44

    2. What Women Want (2000)

      A chauvinistic ad exec (Mel Gibson) suddenly gains the ability to hear women's thoughts, which he uses to create campaigns for female-oriented products.

      • AdFreak rating: 5.90

    3. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)

      An ad exec (Matthew McConaughey) bets he can get any woman to love him within 10 days, just as a journalist (Kate Hudson) bets she can get dumped in 10 days.

      • AdFreak rating: 5.98

    4. Mr. Mom (1983)

      When his wife is hired by an ad agency, jobless Jack Butler (Michael Keaton) must stay at home with the kids. Family hijinks and marital strife ensue.

      • AdFreak rating: 6.28

    5. Catch Us If You Can (1965)

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    @griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."