How to Polish a Turd – By @Norwarican

Alex Overland

By Alex Overland


How to Polish a Turd


On Tuesday, my group and I got told our itv idea was shit. No way around it, just straight up shit.

Still, once it was out there, we all felt that just by saying it out loud, the fear of presenting a shit idea dissipated. I asked my teammates how they felt in the aftermath of the s­bomb:

“Oh Shit, for real? I like our idea. At least he’s honest anyway. I respect that a lot”

“Mhmm not really surprised this was really an ugly baby, it deserved this sentence. R.I.P .”

“I thought it was funny as hell”

Pete spoke to us earlier on, and explained that ‘​sometimes, you have to present shit,’ a​nd ‘​you can get a shit idea through with a bit of sparkle’.​That’s when things seemed to click — we stopped caring so much, and realised that there’ll be other briefs to beat later on. In the end, no matter the quality of your idea, you can still graft it out and pitch like a boss. Rather than roll over and capitulate (h​ere’s our shit idea in shit packaging)​, we decided to make the best of the situation.

I’ll have to add here that while Pete’s comment certainly gave us that last push to just go for it, we had put in a solid effort the evening before the presentation was due. At six on Monday, after we left the studio, we had gone to the Ritzy to tie it all up, and made good progress on tackling the biggest flaws in the concept. I think that by that point we’d realised that when you’re working to a deadline, there’s no use in saying ‘​it’s not ready yet!’.​

When Neale did his review of the ideas that would be pitching to itv later on Tuesday, we were told our idea was ‘​on life support’.​Later on, after we’d done the last WIP with him to determine whether our work was good enough to present, he laughed, told is our idea had got a lot better, and that he hadn’t expected such an improvement since the previous week..

After we faced reality — our idea wasn’t nearly as good or polished as the other teams’ ideas — we were able to get on with it, and do the best with what we had.

In the end, we weren’t shortlisted by itv, but it felt really good to know that you can get an underdeveloped idea across with a bit of flare and some sparkle. Turns out what a turd needs to make it better isn’t polish – it’s glitter.

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