The High Concept Pitch – Bring your elevator pitch to the next level

An idea that takes you 10 minutes to explain loses attention quickly. If it is as brilliant as you think it is, it doesn’t need such an elaborate explanation. Luckily there’s is a short and powerful way to share your idea; the elevator pitch. But how do you grab your audience’s attention right from the start? 

A super-condensed elevator pitch

Sure, you can start singing or perform a silly dance to get all eyes (and ears) on you, but there’s a more effective way to start your elevator pitch: the High Concept Pitch. The High Concept Pitch, also known as the ‘X for Y analogy’ or ‘three-word pitch’, consists, who would’ve guessed, of three words. It’s like a super-condensed elevator pitch

This one-liner pitch originated in Hollywood, where producers use them to pitch their newest productions. For example, the film Alien was promoted as ‘Jaws from space‘ and Hotel Rwanda as ‘Shindler’s list in Rwanda‘. If you know Jaws, you can easily imagine what Aliens must look like and if you’ve seen Schindler’s List you know what to expect from Hotel Rwanda. 

The High Concept Pitch, in other words, positions your idea against something successful everybody knows.


1. Easy to explain – Assuming you use a familiar example in your High Concept Pitch, these three little words (with additionally one extra sentence of explanation) make it simple for you to share your idea.

2. Easy to understand – More important is the fact that this method allows others to understand what your company does or what your concept stands for. Dutch company Brenger calls itself ‘The Uber for big stuff’. As you probably know the concept of Uber, you can fill in what Brenger does.

3. Proof of potential – By positioning your idea next to something successful, you show that your idea makes sense. Like Scribd, the ‘Netflix for Books’. As Netflix is a hugely popular on demand streaming service, it won’t take people much effort to envision how this would work for books too.

4. Easy to share – A pitch that’s easy to explain and easy to understand makes it easy for others to spread the word. It’s a perfect tool to let customers and employees do a little elevator-pitch themselves. Let them share your message. I mean, yes, you can explain that you work at Sniffer, an app that lets you give dogs your dog would like to know better a ‘like’ and enables you to swipe them to the right so they can hang out sometimes. But that explanation will probably give you strange looks and a whole bunch of questions, so it’s easier to say its ‘Tinder for dogs & dog lovers’.

5. Make them curious – Even if it’s easy to understand, a good High Concept Pitch will make people want to know more about your idea. It’s a way to make them curious and to get their attention so you can explain your concept and tell them all about it!

Pitch your own 

We’ve put a few tips in a row for you to work at your own High Concept Pitch:

  1. Keep it short. Preferably use the X for Y formula with a brief addition for clarification where necessary.
  2. Position it against something successful people know for the best results.
  3. Create a killer elevator pitch to end with. Here you can find 5 steps to blow your audience away.
  4. Your High Concept Pitch is not your slogan, only use it as an explanation.

Sharing your ideas can bring them further, we have written an article with 5 reasons why you should. This High Concept Pitch will make it easier for you to do. Do you want to know more about pitching your ideas? Feel free to shoot us an email at, we’ll gladly tell you more about it.

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