One of the hardest things I think I have ever taught or created was the “Elevator Pitch”. Have you ever tried to sit down and write your elevator pitch for your business, your message, or your cause? You know what I am talking about, when you walk into a room of people (whether large or small) and you shake hands and they ask, “Hey there, how are you…tell me about yourself.” Can you recite that perfect message, that one piece that not only peeks someone’s interest but has one major characteristic: it is repeatable. Why repeatable? Well, you want that person to remember your pitch, and be able to have that person turn around and introduce you to someone else. Be able to repeat that pitch for you…increasing connectivity.
The same thing is true for creating an effective 30 second television spot. Think about it for a second, it is a company’s elevator pitch. You have only one shot to grab someone’s attention, relay an efficient and effective message that pulls someone off the couch or from across the room to pay attention, understand and comprehend, then be able to remember to repeat it. Why repeat, so they can go find your product/service/cause or tell someone that might need or want that product/service/cause.
As I discussed in the my blog entry Building Communities Around Media | Stories of Connectivity, communities are not connected via relationships, yet stories are the connectivity between relationships that build communities. These stories have to be efficient so that the connectivity increases. If you can tell a story, deliver a pitch, create a effective/repeatable spot; people are much more willing and able to repeat that story…and their connectivity increases via those stories.
Imagine walking in a room filled with 500 people. If you had a story to tell, a pitch to give, or an introduction to present; and this story can’t be told efficiently and effectively…then the people that you are there to meet loose interest, change the subject, and less likely to connect you with other individuals (their friends in the room). The same is true with that television spot. If the message is not efficient and the story gets lost, then audience is more likely to TiVo past this spot or just not pay attention.
What do I mean by an efficient story, it comes down to understanding purpose, brand, audience, and delivery. You have to recognize that core message for that story and deliver in a fashion that is repeatable. There is a litmus test I like to use; the power of this Social Media Tool called Twitter. Have you ever written a script for a spot or that elevator pitch, now see if you can write it in 140 characters…tell that same story in only 140 characters. Yes, so you can Tweet that message. But if you want to make it repeatable, then write it in 120 characters just incase someone wants to Re-Tweet the message which usually takes up 20 characters. The point here is to drill it down to the core message and make it so it is replicatable.
The point of this discussion comes down to one example…Super Bowl Television Spots. These are crucial time slots where companies invest millions of dollars in placement, messaging, research, and production. Do you think they better create a message that is efficient enough, effective enough so that one time, ONE TIME it runs during the Super Bowl, you will remember it and do exactly what they want you to do. Most of these companies have one shot to increase connectivity in the communities they are trying to attract…by creating a memorable, efficient, repeatable message. The more efficient, the more memorable, the more repeatable, the more ears it will reach…thus increasing connectivity.