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Arts & Entertainment

It’s Great, but They’ll Never Buy It: Selling a Crazy Idea

Jeff Goodby & Rich Silverstein

Lesson time 11:14 min

How do you sell your ideas and present yourself to the client? Jeff and Rich reveal their tactics.

Jeff Goodby & Rich Silverstein
Teach Advertising and Creativity
Advertising icons Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein teach you how to break rules, change minds, and create the best work of your life.
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- It's great, but they'll never buy it. This is key. - This is. - Good ideas are great, but there's no such thing if it doesn't run. - And this is a good chapter, so listen. [MUSIC PLAYING] How do you sell a crazy idea? That's a really good question. - I think one of your first jobs is not to think that it's that crazy. - Yeah. - You know, make sense out of it. You go like, OK, it is crazy, here's how we're going to make sense out of it. Here's how it works. - I don't even think we think the word crazy. - Yeah. - We just, whoa, that's pretty good. Or. - Yeah. - Oh, I don't know, I'd, I don't know if they can buy it, but boy, that's pretty interesting. And so you work it through. - And in a way, you can't really sell an idea if it's crazy. I mean, this sounds, it sounds antithetical, but you can't really sell an idea that's crazy. Clients won't buy it. They'll see that it's crazy. And it'll just show that you think it's crazy too. So you really need to make sense out of things before you go to the client with it, at least in your own head. The strategy is very often your friend. That's an important thing to learn. If the client has agreed to a strategy that it's for the bold, like Doritos, you can do some pretty bold stuff, you know? You're asking for it. - You push it back on them and say, but we all agreed on bold, so this is pretty bold, isn't it? - Yeah. And people tell us that this is working. People say that boldness is our thing. We have to be bold. The next time you go back, there's a foundation for what you're going to tell them. - But if says, this is going to be really funny, don't do that. Don't tell people how to feel. Let them feel through what you have. - Exactly. Let them feel it as you unravel it, unspool it. And I think there are a lot of people that go in there and think, I have to tell them it's funny, I have to tell them it's moving. That's not what you do. What you do is, you just let it happen and they will feel it. - Yeah. A good idea just keeps rolling down the hill, and everyone's part of it. That's it. It's like everyone has to feel part of it. Don't try to shove it down their throats. They're not going to buy it. But they come along with you, oh my god. - Suddenly, everybody's rooting for it and they won't let it go. People are coming in making suggestions, you know. That's what a good idea can do. - In this business, you never rest. It's crazy. You think you've got it all under control, it's never under control. So it's always taking chaos and keeping somewhat, going with the chaos, I guess. - Yeah. - Trying to make it go where you want it to go. Failing. - Once in a while, we have an idea that is so great and we know will be so great for the client, and we can't sell it. OK, it happens. My god. - Like what do you do? What do you do when you're faced with that? Do you go back again with better materials. You go back agai...

Create the big ideas of tomorrow

As the minds behind the “got milk?” campaign, the Budweiser lizards, and countless other ads that have permeated pop culture, Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein never stop reimagining the possibilities of advertising. Now they’re sharing how they make the beautiful and edgy work that’s seen by millions. Learn how to come up with great ideas, tell funny and compelling stories, and dazzle at your next pitch or presentation.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

It´s a great way of learning cuz these guys are sharing real and valuable experience.

Loved this class! It's simple and straight the point yet completely in line with the theme of creativity. Loved the insights and learning about where the ideas for some of the most famous ads came from.

The instructors had so many inspiring words for creativity!

These two were wonderful instructors! They were animated, thorough and interesting. I also loved that this class was able to play the ads that they were talking about to give me more context. Great class and highly recommend


Leroy H.

It's alright. They are obviously brilliant, but this is more aimed at advertising agencies. We are a start up company (not an advertising agency). I was hoping to get more advertising and creativity out of this class.

Andrew L.

I like to make the crazy idea 25% crazier than I want then dial it back to 100% crazy