Elevator Pitches, High-Concept, and “Alien.”

It’s only fitting that the greatest, scariest Hollywood high-concept movie was directed by the adman (yes, adman) Ridley Scott. I am talking about “Alien.” But more about that in a moment. As this is the season for internship interviews, and as it is always the season for job interviews and business pitches, it is time to reflect on that horrible, but useful term, Elevator Pitch. You know what that is: You’re in an elevator riding up the the 40th floor standing next to the head of Leo Burnett or Ogilvy and you only have that amount of time to pitch yourself. Whatcha gonna say? We hone it, we edit it, we think. Well, a merely tight elevator pitch is not enough to cut it today. Today, your elevator pitch better not only be unique, it better be undeniable. Enter “Alien.” Word is, when the script of Alien was going around Hollywood, its “high-concept” strapline was as brilliant as any line written by Bill Bernbach and his troops.

“Jaws in space.”

There. You have it. Read it and weep. And rework your elevator pitch until it’s that lethal.


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