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Monday, May 21, 2007

The Apprentice: Global Brand Consultant Nil, Business Smarts Wins

The ApprenticeI'm beginning to hope that Katie stays until the final 3. She's given so much vitriol to the watching masses and we're eating it up aren't we? 

Luckily this task is right up her street. Or is it?

Sir Alan told them he wanted them to design and sell a trainer. He'd organised a big ad agency to give them the facilities to create and a poster and also a video ad too.

 If you recall last week Ghazal promised Sir Alan that if he made her project manager this week he would see her perform. So he took her at her word and mad her manager of Stealth.

Jadine, who we've all noticed - including Sir Alan, was made manager of Eclipse.

Sir Alan told them that he didn't want Montreux winning adverts, he wanted ones that sold kit. This ties in with my own thoughts on how agencies and brand consultancies create emperor's clothes-type adverts that don't actually sell anything. See my article on whether Your Adverts Get You More Sales.

Before anyone mentions brand awareness...

Do you remember which battery the bunny that keeps on going is advertising? Research found that a large number of people recalled the advert and thought it was for a competing brand.

Anyway, the teams trot off to get their briefing on their trainer and the agency's creative director tell them they need to have a "big idea" to make a winner.

Stealth Gets Jammed

After some time going round in circles the girls decide "image is everything" should be their big idea. 

After more deliberations Kristina puts forward the brand name "JAM". Now please would someone tell me how JAM and "image is everything" tie in?

Katie didn't say a word, in the meeting, but was pretty articulate outside to the camera. She said "Kristina doesn't understand brands or brand strategy."  Hmm.

She made her displeasure at Kristina's choice but didn't point out that as a "global brand consultant" Katie herself would have romped home with this one.

The Gazelle, nominally the project manager, had allowed Kristina to decide what approach they were taking. "Quite clearly" (a common Katie phrase) she was worked on by Katie overnight and came up with "music is everything" just before everybody set off to do posters and video the following morning.

The poster wasn't bad. It needed better copy that tied into the artwork, but I've seen much worse in the real world. The video however was exactly what Sir Alan didn't want. A glossy, pretentious piece of work that didn't spell out the trainer name, why people should buy it or even have any representation of the big idea. Katie defended the video against Sir Alan in the boardroom. Even when he shot it in down in no uncertain terms she still said she liked it.

As the Sugarbabe himself said: He was the client they hadn't delivered what he asked for or needed. Still Katie liked her video.

Yes, you guessed in Stealth lost and the only reason Katie didn't go was because Gazelle was such an appalling project manager. As Sir Alan said he thought she was being "guided" by Katie. Too weak to stay Gazelle got the boot.

Global brand consultant who can't create an exciting brand for a product, even a me-too product? That strikes me as slightly odd. Isn't that exactly what a global brand consultant is used to doing? Creating,as  Sir Alan would say, "The Montreux Award for Tossers."

Eclipse Get The Easy Street

Full marks to Eclipse. They got an interesting concept in "reclaiming the street" and named their trainer "Street".

Of course if Simon is that hip with hip hop/techno he'd know that Klasse Kriminale had produced a song called "Reclaim The Street", it's lyrics are:

The "knight" has sold
The country to McDonalds
You asked how many hamburgers
Were needed for the deal
We don’t count at all
New shopping center
With a huge movie theater
They’re only new lagers
Come on, let’s have a party

And of course we all know about the Reclaim The Streets (RTS) organisation that began in the mid '90's and whose aim appears to be to reclaim roads for the pedestrian across the world.

Borrowing Klasse Kriminale's lyric and RTS's tagline reminded me of Tre's attempt to get the team named after one of the companies he worked for. The Street idea was a good idea, how big in the trainer context is debatable.

The graffiti-style lettering for the trainer was ok. But why didn't they go for colour and more instances of street-related words: Cred, Safe, Real and so on.

Simon kept urging them to let him dance. And to be fair the rap he wrote fitted fairly well with the idea so he must have had more chance than the hired actor/dancers. 

I checked out some of the unseen footage and was most impressed with Lohit when he said they were trying to wrap up the video and get it finished before Tre and Simon came back as Tre would try and take over. Which of course he tried to.

And of course Tre spent most of the time looking like he wanted to swear at someone.  Then when the dancing started he was taking flash photos and had to be told to stop several times. Margaret summed it up well by saying,  "he's been very irritating!"

The one thing that completely let them down was the idiot who booked the dancers. I mean none of them danced street, the whole point of getting them. I'm willing to bet the team were near schools who'd have been happy to have a few of their pupils dancing on The Apprentice.  

Was The Firing Deserved 

 Sir Alan summed it up when he said Ghazal was, "All talk and no do."

She proved that during the London Zoo project when she was getting the sweets made. Her team were pretty much acting independently of her.

At the moment it looks as though Ghazal has no obvious ability to get things done or even to understand what needs doing. So she certainly deserved to be fired.

Well here we are just finished week 8. So who do I think is going to be The Apprentice? I'm still looking at Kristina as the best of a bad bunch, although Lohit and Naomi both showed themselves to have more to them than we've seen or heard of them since the show started.



1 comment:

Rob Artisan said...


the bunnies sold Duracel Batteries with a copper colour top


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