Self-advertisement of the week: A letter by Robert Pirosh

by Stratton Craig

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Letter-collating blog Tiny Letter has recently featured an application letter we think deserves special attention. While it’s not a billboard ad, or a catchy commercial, it is a genius piece of self-advertisement that successfully earned the attention of even its hard-to-woo recipients.

Robert Pirosh is its author: a copywriter who arrived in Hollywood in 1934 with aspirations to take his art to the next level by writing words for big screen productions. Here’s a full copy of the letter.  

What we love about this letter is its ‘fly-in-the-face of the direct-approach’ technique. Yes, it waffles. But its waffling is a beautiful demonstration of the writer’s art. It shows his film director and executive readers why they should take notice, rather than tells them. It builds anticipation towards a climax that is so sweetly simplistic, it is impossible not to smile.

“Fat buttery words” that melt off the tongue in a string of long-syllabic terms like “ooze, turpitude, glutinous, toady” contrast with cacophonous words so aptly – and unexpectedly – described as “angular”: “cantankerous, pecunious, valedictory.” It is all so enticing that we can’t bear to bid farewell until we’ve made it to the end.

The end. “I like the word screenwriter better than copywriter.” What better reason to give someone a chance?

The sign off seals the deal. “I still like words… May I have a few with you?”

Robert has won our hearts. And his work for the MGM and the Marx Brothers shows he won a few in the ‘30s, too.

If you’ve seen an advert you’d like to share, tweet us: @strattoncraig.

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