There’s a wonderful story in the new Saul Bass book in which Bass, recovering from hip surgery, presents his idea for a beer ad from his hospital bed. So, we’d like to know, what’s the strangest client presentation you’ve ever done?
Bass was famously great at presenting work, meticulously crafting presentations to take advantage of his talent for comic timing and persuasion. Lou Dorfsman said that Bass’s best pitch presentations were “worthy of Oscar nominations – at the very least!”
In Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design (featured in the November issue of CR), Art Goodman recalls how, in the mid-60s, Saul Bass presented ideas for a beer commercial while recovering from an operation. “I’ll never forget the sight of Saul, just out of hip surgery, meeting with the people from the Howard Gossage agency,” he says. “We were all wearing masks and hospital gowns, but Saul acted exactly as if we were in the office. He introduced the main ideas and started flipping through images on black cards … he even had a moviola [for editing] moved into his room.”
There have been lots of tales of great pitch presentations down the years: our favourite is perhaps Robert Brownjohn attempting to convince Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, the producers of From Russia With Love, to go ahead with is idea for the titles, a story recounted in Emily King’s Sex and Typography biography of Brownjohn. “In a darkened room, he turned on a slide projector, lifted his shirt and danced in front of the beam of light, allowing projected text to glance off his already alcohol-extended belly. ‘It’ll be just like this’, he exclaimed, ‘except we’ll use a pretty girl!’”
We were wondering if readers had any presentation tales to top these. Have you ever had to pitch under similarly strange circumstances? Or have you deliberately staged a presentation in an unusual or dramatic way?
Let us know in the comments below
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