I recently heard the Creative Director of tv production giant Endemol interviewed.
The Dutch founders invented the enormous Big Brother format before attacking the game show.
Perhaps their biggest global smash started as a tiny end segment on the Dutch national lottery show, which expanded into Deal Or No Deal. Licensed to broadcasters around the world with all manner of merchandising and spin-offs too.
When developing a new format, they plan for their quiz to last a long time. Maybe as many as a thousand episodes. Such run means that if there is any flaw at all in the idea, then it’d be found out.
So they ‘play’ the game many, many times themselves upfront.
There is a key test here.
They expose their prototype to two different sets of contestants. One is thought to ‘know everything’, the other, happy to ‘know nothing’.
If the quiz survives such examination, it can progress to be a real live game show on a telly near you.
It struck me as a wonderful testing discipline to apply to your newest pitch.
Who reckons they know the surrounds of your product inside and out?
Who is comfortable in the knowledge that they are blissfully unaware of anything at all to do with it?
I fancy that testing your pitch on both such audiences as thoroughly as you can will give you an awful lot of precious refinement for when you take said pitch into the field.