Hegarty on Advertising: Turning Intelligence into Magic

💎 On the lottery of pitches (I hate it / I love it)

Three main clients attended, the editor, publisher, and some bloke from distribution who kept talking about lorries and timetables! Well, he would, wouldn’t he.

We diligently went over the strategy with heads nodding enthusiastically, even the man from distribution. And then I revealed the line that captured their positioning. The Mail on Sunday: ‘Depth without drowning’.

There was stunned silence. Finally, the publisher said, ‘I hate it’. Every time I read the word ‘depth’, I see ‘death!’ This is not going well, I say to myself! No, no, no says the editor, that’s absurd. That’s what we do, provide news in depth. I foolishly think we’re back on track. Someone with a brain is thinking about this. And then he says, but I hate the word drowning. I have a fear of swimming. Jesus, I say to myself, I really am dealing with tabloid brains here. There are only three words in this line, what else can go wrong. So I turn to the distribution genius and say how do you feel about the word ‘without?’

Excerpt from: Hegarty on Advertising: Turning Intelligence into Magic by John Hegarty

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