Pitch Case Studies: The Overhead Projector

Pitch Case Studies: The Overhead Projector - Leo Morejon

The perfect sales presentation focuses on storytelling, and the perfect sales presentation is a combination of science, art, planning, and improvisation. You need to share your message, ensure it is understood, connect with your audience and be ready for almost anything. Just as important, you need to be memorable, inspirational, and motivational. That is especially true if you are selling creative services.

A digital advertising agency recently hired me to support them on a pitch for a major CPG, and this is where the “The Overhead Projector” pitch was born.

  1. Situation: The agency had a fantastic idea. They were having trouble making sure they stood out among their competitors. They understood that a great idea was not enough.

  2. Strategy: We built an unforgettable emotional connection with the audience by showcasing the digital idea in a very analog, yet relatable fashion. One that called upon nostalgia and the drawing:
    1. Found the best (and fastest) sketch artist at the agency.

    2. Bought an analog overhead projector. Yes, the big, clunky thing shown below:

      Pitch Case Studies: The Overhead Projector - Leo Morejon

      Of course, the audience was well researched beforehand, and each grew up during the time overhead projector were heavily used.

    3. Created a script and visuals on those transparent sheets for overhead projectors. On pitch day, we brought the overhead projects, the visuals and the sketch artist to the meeting. (A little earlier than usual, that thing isn’t lite.) We set up (easiest setup of my life by the way), and as we spoke, the sketch artist would draw related pictures and used the visual aids.

      In essence, a very analog version of this:

  3. Results: We lost. Not what you expected? We lost due to reasons unrelated to the idea or presentation. However, after receiving the news and asking for feedback, we heard things like, “I will never forget this presentation, “I was smiling the whole time,” “We’re stealing that idea!”

Notes on the overhead projectors:

  1. There are digital overhead projectors. It wasn’t used because it would take away from the more human aspect of things.
  2. Having to carry it in was fun, entertainment, and a conversation piece. This all helped build rapport.

  3. It was faster and easier than a whiteboard. The key here is in the transparent sheets; we could bring a very large amount, we could pre-draw individual elements, and the artist didn’t have the erase anything (we could “go back to that” quickly).  All which saved time and allowed us to improvise as needed.

I am sure this was not the first time this has was done. It is also not right for every situation; there is a lot to consider, from audience personas (who is in the room, what they need, want, and so on) to timing and resources. I do hope this inspires you to be more creative with your presentations and this will only support your business.

What’s a pitch you participated in where they did something memorable?