Created by AMV BBDO, the 90-second film shows various figures laying artefacts, including shackles, a doll, flowers and a Springbok shirt, in a field. The work's voiceover is by Benjamin Zephaniah who reads a script written by the agency.
At the end of the film the camera pans back and reveals the items have formed the face of South Africa’s first black president who passed away on Thursday.
Users can explore the individual objects that appear in the film and learn, from a selection of articles taken from magazine’s archives, about their significance to a particular time in Mandela’s life and his impact on the world.
Susan Clark, chief marketing officer, The Economist, said: "We are proud to offer this film to help tell the story of Nelson Mandela, to show turning points in the life of a man who made his mark on the world in so many ways."
Ian Pearman, chief executive of AMV BBDO, added: "Nelson Mandela’s story is incredibly inspiring and we wanted to work with the Economist to produce a fitting tribute to his achievements.
"We hope people enjoy exploring the historical accounts of his life."