Why the ghost of a storytelling past is at the heart of BBC investment banking thriller

By Amelia Fillis

Anyone else been binging Industry on iPlayer this month? The series follows a set of socially diverse graduates learning to navigate their way through the intense world of investment banking. With graduate applications reaching a staggering 19,000 total at Goldman Sachs this year, it is not difficult to believe the ruthless competition and intimidating superiors portrayed in the show.

Moving away from the extreme and often historically negative portrayal on film, it is refreshing to see the media finally expose the sector in a more realistic light. Perhaps this is down to the fact that the show’s writers, Konrad Kay (@konradmkay) and Mickey Down (@mnadown) both started as investment banking graduates.

The writing strikes a delicate balance of keeping the viewer engaged through classic love triangles and conflict, while drip-feeding enticing market nuances that shoot down longstanding City stereotypes. It is impossible not to Google jargon phrases such as “half a yard” while watching. It means half a million by the way. I would equally defy anyone to find a better example of a drama that meets the traditional Beeb storytelling principles of inform, educate, and entertain. Originally created by the BBC’s first ever DG John Reith back in the 1920s, Industry is a timely reminder to comms professionals that while the channels we communicate client stories through have changed, the basic principles of what makes a compelling story are the same.

Whether it’s comparing the battles between superheroes to the conflicts between a treasurer and a chief risk officer, or using the release of the latest Star Wars film to talk about MiFID, Reithian values are at the heart of our clients’ stories in the Capital Markets practice. Attaching a compelling hook to an esoteric market issue instantly more relatable to the wider audience. This is not dissimilar to what the writers of Industry have done for those less acquainted with investment banks. So aside from recommending a great binge-worthy series, Industry is proof that Reithian values in modern-day storytelling are very much alive and well. Roll on season two!

Related News