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Apprentice Week 6 - adverts

Last week, Matthew was fired for being an 'awkward character' and Saira had a lucky escape and a big falling out with Paul. 

The teams are picked up by a London bus with an advert for 'The Apprentice' on its side.  They get a phone call from Sugar, who wants the teams to prepare an advertising campaign for one of his own products.  It's interesting that Sugar couldn't be bothered to turn up - buit then he really doesn't like advertising people, and I suspect that his idea of the perfect advert is a sign scrawled on a piece of cardboard saying "Apples, 4 for £1". 

Miriam and Paul 'step up' to be the project managers.  Paul needs to do well here, because after a dynamic start he has failed to impress recently.

Is it going to be the e-mailer?  No, it turns out to be a prototype CD player with a 10 disc changer that is supposed to sell for £99. The teams meet with Sugar's son and find out what message he wants them to put forward.  He's going for value for money and user-friendly, and possibly innovative.  I'm going for cheap.

No surprises from Sir Alan - he tells us that he doesn't want the advertising to be 'arty farty', but do the teams know that?   

Advertising agency creative director Keith Courtney is brought in to give advice.  It seems he doesn't like the product, calling it "cheap and tacky".  Well, at least we aren't getting all the fake bonhomie that characterizes the Trump version of the show - Sugar hates advertising people, and they aren't keen on his products. 

Saira is talking slowly and clearly to Paul, as if she were dealing with an idiot. "This part now.  Is about being creative."  They argue about their strategy and there is a lot of gesturing going on.  Paul tells Saira that "we are already forming a picture of how the advert is going to look."  He draws a picture with his hands.  Saira argues back and then folds her arms.  All is not well. 

As ever, the pieces to camera are illuminating.  Saira thinks Paul is not organized and accuses him of being overbearing (which, of course, she certainly isn't, oh no). Paul clearly still feels bad about what happened in the boardroom last week.  He tells us that Saira knows that she did wrong.  Er, no I don't think she does.

First Forte already have a strapline - "the jukebox is back".  That's quite clever.  Over on Impact, Paul wants to push on and plan the TV advert, but I don't think they have a concept.  However, we know that what matters to Sir Alan is to get the product and its name on-screen at least ten times in a 30 second advert, so maybe Paul is right and they don't need one. 

07_03_2008_17_37_06They are taking the jukebox theme very seriously -  Tim and Ben go off to collect a real live jukebox to use as a prop.    The jukebox is big and heavy, and the apartment where they are filming has tiny rooms and a narrow staircase.  Four of them try to get it upstairs.  They fail.   

Later we see Miriam editing the advert, and she seems to have the right idea - get the 'jukebox' logo on screen as often as possible.  You don't impress Sir Alan with subtlety.    

On the other team, Saira and Rachel have been sent back to the house to come up with a strapline.  Saira starts talking slowly, and inevitably this leads to an argument with Rachel, so they work independently.  

For some reason, Saira is moving chairs around rather than supervising the designer who is putting together the print advert.  Saira promises Paul that it will be ready. Well, yes, it is ready, but Rachel feels that it's "boring, bland, brochureware", and Saira doesn't like it either.  Well, perhaps she should have supervised the designer rather than arranging the room. 

Rachel does a weird presentation - very informal, almost as if they don't know what to say.  And do they think that they advertising people won't realize?

On the other team, James says he is "deeply unhappy" and that the TV campaign was "appalling".  Yet the advertising agency guys are laughing at the ad, and James actually does a confident presentation.   

Back in the boardroom, Sir Alan has a joke for us.  He's written a book on advertising - a cheque book.  Ha ha.  He watches the TV commercials and looks at the print ads.  Have the teams understood what Sir Alan wants? Impact haven't, because the advert features the family rather than the product, and Paul actually admits that was their strategy.  Wrong.  Then Saira holds up their terrible advert, which has the price right at the bottom in a tiny typeface.  Inexplicably, Rachel then holds up a collage she has made up of random pictures and the name of the product.  Priceless.  Paul looks very miserable, as well he might.

Miriam presents First Forte's print adverts, which look stylish and seem to have a coherent message.  The TV advert isn't great, but it does have a lengthy shot of the product, and that's what Sir Alan wants to see.  I'd say we have a winner, though Sugar remains stony-faced throughout. 

Rather cruelly, he asks Raj to say who he thinks has won.  He assumes that the other team has won.  Spot on, says Sir Allan.  He tells First Forte that they have come up with a good campaign.

Sure enough, Sir Alan complains that the Impact TV advert didn't have enough of the product.  However, what really annoyed him was Rachel's weird collage and the "pathetic" print advert.  Paul waffles, and Saira claims that she supervised the designer in a professional manner.  Sugar gives her a very hard time, and says that this was a "fatal error."

Paul lets Raj off the hook.  Nick sticks the knife into Paul by saying that he was too engrossed in the TV advert and didn't manage the team.  Sir Alan has spotted that Rachel claims to have some advertising experience on her cv, and wonders what she contributed.

07_03_2008_17_29_58Rachel admits that she and Saira couldn't agree on what to do with the advert.  Paul sees his chance and asks Rachel and Saira why they didn't call him.  Paul then admits that he didn't do a great job as project leader, and refuses to say which of the other two should be fired.   

Frankly, you could fire all three of them without any difficulty, but Sir Alan chooses Rachel because of her cv.  This seems slightly unfair, but clearly she was never going to win.  He then gives a lecture to Paul and Saira, telling them to stop bickering.  Saira starts crying, and Sugar completely ignores this.  Paul doesn't know how to react either.

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