Saturday Night Live (NBC, USA), Pitch Meeting

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The Video

The Saturday Night Live team takes us inside the advertising department at Cheetos where two teams are pitching for the Super Bowl half-time advert. One team are flatly rejected when they present ideas of kids hanging out having fun. The other team, however, find their pretentious projections of human struggle coupled with corn chips far more welcomed.

The video is a direct reference to the half-time ads of this year’s Super Bowl, but, as long as your students have access to a TV, they should recognize the current trend for the pseudo-philosophical nonsense used by companies to sell us their wares.

The video is designed for an adult audience but remains fairly clean. There are some parts which could potentially spark cultural sensitivity, so be sure to watch the video before showing it to your students!

If you teach any advertising executives, this video could provide some light relief yet still remain connected to their line of work.

Language Focus and Level

The narration in this video is fairly slow and the vocabulary is largely non-challenging meaning you could use this video with good intermediate, upper intermediate and if it’s a good fit (pre) advanced students.

You can use this video to talk about describing the plot of a movie or TV show. The worksheet below takes the student through all the necessary grammar to do this, including the difference between dynamic and stative verbs and the use of present tenses (present simple, present continuous and present perfect) when describing a story. This grammar leads on to a speaking activity in which students write their own “recap” style presentations of their favorite movies/TV shows, great if you are looking to do an extended speaking activity.

Worksheet

thumb  Find the main worksheet connected to the video here: SNL Pitch Worksheet

thumb-ii   There is also a separate handout about Stative Verbs available here: Stative Verbs Handout.

Availability

Find the video over at YouTube.

The other optional video detailed in the worksheet is here.

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Mark Albion (Free Range Studios), What Is “The Good Life” Parable

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The Video

New York Times bestselling author Mark Albion’s 3-minute animated movie “The Good Life” produced with Free Range Studios (The Story of Stuff; The Meatrix) and based on Mark’s new book, More Than Money.

A young man takes a break after finishing business school in a small fishing village. He proposes a business proposition to an old fisherman who enjoys the slow pace of life and on doing so learns an important life lesson himself.

Level and Language Focus

The narration of the video is fairly slow and the vocabulary is not too complicated therefore the video could be used in pre-intermediate and intermediate classes.

An obvious grammar point in this video is second conditional, which is used throughout. A discussion point to the video could be free time and work-life balance.

Worksheet
A worksheet can be found here:
The Good Life Parable (Right Click, Save As…)

Availability

Watch the video on YouTube.