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‘Make|SHIFT’ review: A word from our sponsors

Engaging and straightforward.

Make|SHIFT is a documentary that explores the recent history of advertising. Promotion has been around since humans could put up cave drawings of where their next gig would be. The industry has changed with the times, becoming more creative and pushing boundaries. It is in the past twenty plus years that the greatest strides have been made, however. 

The film does a great idea of capturing the ever changing world of advertising. As strange as it may seem, there is a direct line from radio ads read straight from a script to the viral marketing of today. Commercials follow the changes in other forms of media like television.  Make|SHIFT is able to effectively show this evolution and even give an idea as to what is to come. 

Interviews are an important part of any documentary. Many are included here and they all add to Make|SHIFT. They are a good mix of larger agencies and smaller creators. The audience is given an inside look which provides an idea of the creativity that is needed to stand out in the field. These moments also give an idea as to why some agencies think certain ads will work.

Ironically, Make|SHIFT is not an especially eye catching documentary. It is filled with interesting interviews, but is also straight and to the point. This does not make it a bad watch; it is just one that focuses on the informational aspect. The most entertaining parts will definitely be the various ads that are shown. Commercials have long been a staple of pop culture, and Make|SHIFT brings a sense of fun and nostalgia. It is also interesting to see the effect advertising has had on American culture.

Make|SHIFT is a fun look at the history of ads. There are some good points that will intrigue the general viewer. It is easy to forget that something as innocuous as the ad breaks that are almost universally despised have changed so much.  Still, the target audience is those already in advertising or looking to get into it.

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