Best Marketing Documentary - the century of the self - marketing documentary by BBC

The Century of the Self – “Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering”

The Century of the Self – Best Marketing Documentary

The Century of the Self is the best marketing documentary to learn about persuasion. It focuses on the work of psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Anna Freud, and PR consultant Edward Bernays. This series explains how people in power have used Freud’s theories for mass persuasion.

The central thesis is the tug of war between the idea that the great mass of citizenry
is an unstable swamp of barbaric instinctual drives and anxieties or is capable of using 
their better selves to dominate these drives. It is a competition between the views of
treating people as active citizens to be dealt with rationally or passive consumers to be 
pacified by catering to these underlying irrational drives.(source)


  1. “Happiness Machines” (originally broadcast 17 March 2002)
  2. “The Engineering of Consent” (originally broadcast 24 March 2002)
  3. “There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads; He Must Be Destroyed” (originally broadcast 31 March 2002)
  4. “Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering” (originally broadcast 7 April 2002)

Awards for Best Marketing Documentary

  1. Best Documentary Series, Broadcast Awards
  2. Historical Film Of The Year, Longman/History Today Award

Nominated For

  1. Best Documentary Blubb, Royal Television Society
  2. Best Documentary, Indie Awards
  3. Best Documentary Series, Grierson Documentary Awards

Episode 4 – “Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering”

It was originally broadcasted on 31st March 2002.

What to expect

  1. This episode explains how politicians learned from the businesses to read and fulfill the inner desires of people.
  2. It then discusses how PR came and became part of politics, business, and journalism.

The first three episode of this documentary showed how business learned by Freud’s theories to understand the customer’s desire and inner self.  This episode is about how the politicians learned from the business to use those techniques to understand the peoples.

It also explains how the politics changed and came up with new methods to match their agenda for elections to what they thought people wanted. It might seem like the good form of democracy but that led to politicians making contradicting policies just to satisfy the larger’s groups desires.

This documentary is very useful for marketers to understand the world we live in. How the consumerism evolved and where are we now?  Do let me know if you have any questions or if you want to discuss more on this.

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Published by

Manoj Kumar

A thoughtful analytical marketer

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