Written by: Kworq Team on Mon Mar 06

Kworq Curriculum: The Art of the Pitch

a creative agency's take on 'the art of the pitch', newspaper, the kworq times, the art of the pitch, kworq curriculum month 2, all things pitching

Pitching is an art form.

Written by: Rachel Clancy

Table of contents:
Week 1: Pitching 101
Week 2: Blast From the Past
Week 3: The Prep
Week 4: The Pitch

We’re back at it with another month of Kworq Curriculum. In case you missed Part 1 (AI Art), Kworq Curriculum is a weekly assignment for our team members, in which the overall theme changes each month.

February was all about the art of pitching. Crafting a successful pitch is a lot like painting a masterpiece. Staring at a blank canvas can be overwhelming, so let’s break it down. To impress potential clients, you need to blend different colors, textures, and styles into a cohesive, captivating image that tells a compelling story.

It requires a combination of creativity, strategy, and vision. Although it can be an intimidating undertaking, with the appropriate inspiration and preparation, you can produce a “work of art” (aka the pitch) that leaves an indelible impression on the client.

So, let us grab our brushes, mix our colors, and get to work!

Kworq Curriculum Week 1: Pitching 101


  • WatchEpisode 1 of Mad Men
  • What was your observation about Don Draper’s final pitch? Write down what stood out to you the most in 200 characters or less.

For those of you who haven’t seen Mad Men (first of all, watch it), here’s a brief synopsis of the series premiere, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. We’re introduced to Don Draper, the enigmatic creative director at Sterling Cooper ad agency. Don is part of the “Mad Men”- a nickname coined for the late 1950’s advertising executives of Madison Avenue.

As we’re introduced to Don’s world, we learn the conflict of the episode: Lucky Strike Cigarettes (Sterling Cooper’s most lucrative client), due to “manipulation of the mass media”, can no longer advertise their cigarettes as safe, which will certainly hurt sales. The team is at a loss for what to do.


As discussed earlier in the episode, Don’s associate Pete throws a hail mary, suggesting they lean into human “death wish” psychology to bulldoze smokers’ perception. The Lucky Strike men find the idea ridiculous (especially because they are still holding on to the belief that cigarettes are not deadly), and begin to leave.

As the men head for the door, one makes a comment in passing that “at least we know that if we have this problem, everybody has this problem”. This triggers a stroke of genius in Don Draper, who calls this “the greatest advertising opportunity since the invention of cereal”. He realizes any mention of cigarettes and health in the same breath will only trigger fear in smokers. While other cigarette brands are scrambling to reframe the dangerous narrative, Lucky Strike will sidestep the negative perception entirely.

Pulling inspiration from how the tobacco is made, and out of thin air, pitches the line “Lucky Strike: It’s Toasted”. He points out that “advertising is about one thing: happiness” and that “happiness is freedom from fear”. Their customers want to believe that everything is ok, even if it defies logic.

It’s a master class in pitching. Here’s what stood out to us about it:

Final thoughts from this week:

Although Don Draper went into his pitch completely unprepared, he was still able to come out on top. Don clearly has extensive knowledge and vast skill set in advertising. However, this win came down to more intangible characteristics. He demonstrated an ability to think on his feet, harness external inspiration, and master the human psyche. His charisma and quick thinking is something that we all can learn from.

Kworq Curriculum Week 2: Blast From the Past


  • Feeling nostalgic after watching that first episode? It’s time to recall one commercial/advertisement that really stuck with you from your childhood! Now go and find it on the internet!
  • Write down the reasons why you remember this ad. Was it a good ad? A bad one? Why?

Any good pitch requires inspiration. To find some, we took a trip down memory lane.

We’ve all seen an ad that, for one reason or another, has stuck with us over the years. Maybe it was for a product or game you loved as a kid. Maybe it simply reminds you of happy times.

Regardless of memorability, does the concept still hold up, years beyond our childlike standards of quality? Let’s break down a few of our team’s favorites to find out.

iPod (2004)


“-I was like, I can’t wait to be a teenager, I can’t wait to be cool, I love rock n’ roll, I want to be like the people in this ad”

Ah, 2004. What a time to be alive. Before smartphones took over the world, iPods were the hottest thing on the market. This ad is a part of a larger series of iconic iPod commercials released throughout the 2000’s.

Apple defines cool in this iPod commercial. The young, hip energy delivered through the fast pace, bright colors, and blaring rock music says so much without words. “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” by Jet, along with every other song featured in this campaign, was launched into the stratosphere of popularity.

“It was such a revolutionary piece of technology, but it didn’t say anything about the technology, it was about the way the product would make you feel”

It’s a callback to what Don Draper said about the correlation between advertising and happiness. At this point, Apple had brand recognition on their side. They didn’t need to tell anyone what their product is, so they instead told their audience how their product would make them feel. The ad is just as impactful nearly two decades later.

Sony Bravia (2005)


“I was obsessed with this commercial. When I was leaving film school, everyone else wanted to make, like, Pulp Fiction and Requiem for a Dream. I wanted to make that.”

The two and a half minute spot took up an entire commercial break, airing during a highly anticipated 2005 Manchester United vs. Chelsea soccer game. This was the era of clunky, box-shaped TV sets. Sony’s flat-screen LCD television line, Bravia, was a revolutionary improvement to the viewing experience. But how could they convince their customers to upgrade?

Their research showed that color was the most important factor for those purchasing a TV. Joining forces with creative agency Fallon, they created the tagline “Color like no other”. With a $25 million dollar budget, a three-day shoot, and 250,000 colorful bouncy balls, they created magic. In an entirely practical stunt, the balls were unleashed on the steep streets of San Francisco. They invited reporters, bloggers, and photographers to capture the spectacle, creating a pre-social media virality.

As you can imagine, a quarter of a million bouncy balls barreling down a hill caused quite a bit of chaos, setting off car alarms, ricocheting off the pavement, and inflicting some minor injuries. But that’s the real kicker. Sony and Fallon slow the footage, and layer it over the stripped-down and relaxing “Heartbeats” by José González. It’s mesmerizingly calm, and maintains attention to the point of the video: Bravia’s vivid LCD display.

We’re willing to forgive Sony for the great bouncy ball shortage of 2005 and any subsequent childhood disappointment it may have caused. The outcome is breathtaking, and remains impressive to this day.

Bagel Bites (1997)


“The whole commercial was my life growing up. The cul de sac, the kids in the cul de sac, the open door policy for all the homes”

The notion of pizza as a breakfast food could be considered a significant milestone in human history, akin to the discovery of fire. They were such a cultural sensation, even being featured on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, inspiring a duet with singer Meat Loaf, “Ode to Bagel Bites”. This commercial, circulated around children’s programs in the late 90’s, proclaims, “when pizza’s on a bagel, you can eat pizza anytime!”. The vibe is reminiscent of family sitcoms from that era, and evokes childhood nostalgia. It’s an absolute period piece.

Would the ad hold up today? In style, probably! The abrasive jingle and overstimulating saturation aren’t far off from kid’s commercials nowadays. Content-wise, maybe not. In our modern age, there’s increased limitation on junk food ads targeted towards children. Also, the one-note, Stepford-esque vision of American suburban life has become outdated. Nevertheless, it was fun to travel back in time. And, you’ll be thrilled to learn Bagel Bites are still in production to this day.

Here’s some honorable mentions:

Chips Ahoy!:  “Birthday”

Doritos: “BIG Mouse”

Easy Bake Oven: “Easy Bake Oven and Snack Center”

Orbit Gum: “Lint Licker”

Touch Lebanon: “Speedy & Amigo: The Fast Lane”

Final thoughts from this week:

Even if we can mark our favorite childhood commercials as “good” or “bad” in hindsight, there’s a reason they stick with us for so long. In a world where we’re constantly bombarded with advertisements, it is especially important to identify these “it” factors that render certain ads unforgettable.

Nostalgia is an incredibly powerful tool in advertising. With nostalgia, a brand can establish familiarity, comfort, and an emotional connection with a consumer. Think about Don Draper’s correlation between advertising and happiness, how people just want to feel as though everything is okay. For many, that feeling was strongest during our childhood years. If we can tap into that feeling, the possibilities are endless.

Week 3: The Prep


  • Remember that product/service you just shared with us? Well, Kworq just got a chance to pitch that company on their next great Advertisement and/or Ad Campaign for 2023, and YOU are leading the charge!

  • It’s easy to get distracted with imagery, so in true Don Draper fashion, you’ll have to sell it to us this week only with words. And remember, you only have one hour! Set your timer!

  • Quickly research and compile the following information in simple bullet point format in a Google Doc:

    • Your Item’s Selling Points (practical + emotional)
    • The Market (general audience/industry)
    • 2-3 Main Competitors (if applicable)
    • 2-3 original tagline options for your campaign. Kworq will vote on the best one to use in your official Client Pitch next week!

Preparation is the backbone to any successful pitch, and cutting corners here is a surefire way to crash and burn. You can’t waltz into a client meeting without knowing the ins and outs of their business, their target audience, and their pain points. To deliver a compelling pitch, it’s crucial to adopt a holistic approach, considering all possible selling points, target audiences, and competition.

After building a strong foundation, we drafted taglines to craft our pitches around. A tagline is like the cherry on top, a place to prove your creative abilities to a client when your relationship is still in its infancy.

Let’s break down some of our best taglines this week:

Final thoughts from this week:

This week’s meeting revealed just how important collaboration is when creating a pitch. By bouncing ideas off of each other, many of us landed on stronger taglines we hadn’t considered before. Remaining open to external inspiration and diverse perspectives gives us the ability to generate ideas we might have never conceived on our own.

Week 4: The Pitch


  • Now that you’re armed with your slogan, it’s time for the final client pitch.
  • Prepare a 1 page Google Slide “pitch deck”
  • What you put on this page is entirely up to you, but you will only have 90 seconds to pitch your campaign idea to “The Client” (AKA your fellow Kworq employees) at next week’s Kworq Curriculum meeting. Get creative!
  • Use Diffusion Bee or Midjourney to make any imagery.
  • After each presentation, all Kworq members will anonymously vote “yes” or “no” to your campaign. At the end of presentations, the campaign with the most “yes” votes wins!

It’s the final (and most nerve-racking) step in the pitching process—delivering the pitch. This is where all of your hard work and preparation come together to make or break the deal. Those of us more prone to stage fright worry about forgetting our lines, stumbling over our words, or worse, being met with silence or rejection. But just like with stage fright, the key to conquering a pitch is preparation, practice, and a healthy dose of confidence. So, take a couple deep breaths, and know that you have what it takes to deliver a pitch that will knock their socks off.

Here’s a selection of our most effective mock-pitches:

Cremora: “Dissolves faster than a toupee in a hurricane”


Easy Bake Oven: “A time machine for your taste buds!”


Chips Ahoy!: “Joy… that’s Chips Ahoy!” *the winning pitch*


Final thoughts from this week:

Congratulations to Chris G. for receiving the most “yes” votes with his pitch! This pitch in particular stood out with its ability to cover all the key components of an effective pitch. It was delivered with confident clarity, established an emotional connection with the intended audience, used a catchy tagline and imagery to tell a compelling story. Overall, his pitch was a cohesive package that sold the idea to us with the prowess of a 2023 Don Draper.

These pitches represent the culmination of weeks of preparation, presented in a succinct format that speaks directly to the needs of the client. Many Kworqers put the AI Art skills we learned from Part 1 to work, generating visuals to better illustrate our points. Our standout pitches resonate with the client, and refuse to be overlooked. After all, a masterpiece that goes unseen is just another painting.

Kworq Curriculum Part Two: Pitching Perfected

As we wrap up another month of Kworq Curriculum, it’s clear that we are at our best when we work together. Our journey was shaped by the input and inspiration of others, while still celebrating our distinct individual creativity, which is what this initiative is coming to represent.

As the clock ticks and tocks on (wink), we’ve already got the ball rolling on our next edition of Kworq Curriculum. Stay tuned for next month’s topic, which revolves around one of the greatest disruptors to social media marketing in recent history.


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