Good Chill Hunting

Our Summer Reading, Listening & Binging List

It’s officially summer. That glorious time of year when books get read on the beach, movies get watched in the air, and TV gets binged on the weekends. For us, that perfect summertime read or listen always has a little marketing lesson worked into the entertainment. Never so much as to feel like homework, but just enough to make us nod and smile. If that sounds like your kind of Goldilocks list, here are some recommendations we hope you’ll enjoy. Happy summer, everyone!


Whether your magazine of choice is a supermarket tabloid or a scientific journal, they’re all snapshots of who we are at that moment in time—cultural time capsules in the making. So while we’re happy to recommend business magazines like AdWeek, Fast Company, Wired, Inc., and Forbes, we also give full props to the branding masterpieces born of celebrity chefs, HGTV stars, and pop-culture icons. Leading the pack, past and present: Martha Stewart Living, O Magazine, Magnolia Journal (from Chip and Joanna Gains), and Drew (from Drew Barrymore).

Last, but certainly not least, we’d be remiss not to mention the mother of all summer magazines: the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, which after 60 years is now hoping to be known for delivering inclusivity along with the season’s swimsuit trends. A sincere change in values? Maybe. A great branding strategy? One for the ages.


Whether it’s an e-book, audio book, or paperback, books and summer go hand-in-hand. What might surprise you though, is that some of the best business and branding lessons to be learned come from the pages of—wait for it!—cookbooks! So even though we could recommend books like Antoni In The Kitchen, by Queer Eye star Antoni Porowski or Taste: My Life Through Food, by actor Stanley Tucci (and we do), this time around we’d rather point you to the spectacular brand story that is Jamie Oliver.

From his first cookbook in 1999 to his upcoming release in 2025, his mission to make cooking pleasurable, affordable, fast, and for all reads like, well, a really compelling book. And he did it by knowing his audience. No time to cook? He had 30-Minute Meals. When processed foods became the staple of school lunches, he started a Food Revolution. When budgets got tight, you could Save With Jamie. When carbs became the enemy, Everyday Super Food was born. And with each book he not only presented a solution to a problem but also advocated for the social change needed to make the joy of cooking and sharing food the glue that he believed would hold communities, families, and countries together and accountable to one another. And the pictures are pretty, too…

TV Series

What’s old is new again, and the small screen is where it’s at. These shows influence the trends, connect audiences to brands through product placement (Stranger Things and Coca-Cola), and highlight the woes of launching a new business. With so many great dramas and reality shows to choose from, it’s hard to pick favourites. Here are a few old classics and new favourites.

  1. The Bear. This FX comedy-drama series is about an award-winning chef who returns to his hometown to manage the chaotic kitchen at his deceased brother’s sandwich shop.
  2. Succession. The series centres around the Roy family and their fight for control over Waystar RoyCo, a global media and entertainment conglomerate, amidst uncertainty about the health of the family’s patriarch.
  3. Empire. In this series, a hip-hop mogul must choose a successor among his three sons who are battling for control over his multi-million dollar company, while his ex-wife schemes to reclaim what is hers. The perfect cautionary tale of how greed can influence the life of entrepreneurs.
  4. The Office. This timeless and beloved mockumentary is about a group of typical office workers whose workday consists of ego clashes, inappropriate behavior, boredom, and unexpectedly heartfelt moments, that yield a perfect balance of comedy and emotional depth.
  5. Mad Men. In this drama about one of New York’s most prestigious ad agencies in the1960s, everyone is selling something and nothing is ever what you expect it to be. At the centre is Donald Draper, the biggest ad man in the business.

MasterClass Online Classes. With taglines like “A dose of inspiration whenever you need it” and “Learn from the best. Be your best” it’s no surprise that MasterClass is a binge-worthy place to develop career and leadership skills. This TED Talk-meets-high-quality-production takes the form of video lectures showcasing the top talent in many fields. From Alicia Keys and Serena Williams to Natalie Portman and Bob Iger, if they are famous and have a success story, you’ll likely find them on MasterClass. Our Creative Director, Jared received his MasterClass subscription as a gift from his sister this year and he’s been loving all of the great topics and options MasterClass has to offer.


Speaking of masterclasses, we all received one last year with Barbie. Though some hail it as the marketing event of the century, all can agree that it was the marketing campaign of the year. From Barbie-themed boat cruises to Balmain hoodies, Barbie-core was everywhere, piercing the zeitgeist and creating conversations. If you’re looking for movies with actual business themes, here a few classics to revisit.

The Founder (2016).

Joy (2015).

American Hustle (2013).

The Devil Wears Prada (2006).

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006).