The Apprentice Week Seven Review: Advertising

The Apprentice Week Seven Review: Advertising

16 November 2017

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Photo credit: Jim Marks / BBC 

The advertising task is always my absolute favourite on The Apprentice. Watching the hapless hopefuls come up with a TV advert and a billboard display usually results in terrible acting; bad soundtracks or voiceovers; or display advertising that has no correlation to the rest of the project. This year, we lucked out – because we got all three disasters neatly wrapped up in one colossal failure.

Tasked with advertising a new car – in this case, a Ford without the badge – the teams set about assigning Project Managers. James (he of the wonderful facial expressions) put himself forward to lead Team Graphene, whilst Michaela determined herself as most suitable to lead Team Vitality, since she runs a marketing agency … But more on that later.

From the outset, it was clear that James was never going to get a word in, not with the “tall and quirky” Elizabeth dominating every conversation like a mardy schoolteacher. Michaela also steam rollered through the task, as she and Jade decided that the best target market for a brand new car was 17 year old girls. I’ve not been the biggest Andrew fan, but they refused to listen to any of his ideas and cut him off at every turn, making for a very one-sided marketing campaign.

Sajan insisted he should direct the advert for James’ sub-team, because he sold photo booths and that meant he had a good eye for camera angles. He kept tossing around the word “creative” in the hope that, by the power of osmosis, he would somehow become so. The ad – aimed at families looking for a new, reliable car – ended up being filmed in a fake Norma village, complete with chicken, turkeys and a dummy being hanged from the side of a well.

The one thing that both teams failed to pick up on – and something that is absolutely key to a successful marketing campaign – is brand consistency. The digital billboards they created for the underground bore no resemblance to the TV ads. The sub-teams didn’t speak to each other, and this left room for plenty of confusion and no recognisable brand. Moreover, the decision to stand and pester busy commuters with questions about their ads to gather market research, didn’t go down well.

Michaela, in particular, struggled with her pitch, spending the first few minutes in glorious silence. Anisa overcompensated by spelling out every terrible decision her team made whilst jazz hands-ing her every word. Elizabeth tried to justify her team’s terrible ad – complete with 90s dance soundtrack – with her usual matronly ineptitude.

When it came to the boardroom, Michaela stuttered and stumbled her way through her sentences, explaining that once again, “Me nerves have got t’better of me.” It was also revealed that she did not, in fact, run a marketing agency, but rather sold advertising into a construction magazine.

However, there could only be one winner and the bespectacled Bolton lass lead her team to victory – leaving James and his team in the firing line. He opted to bring Sajan and Joanna (the mute) back in to the boardroom but Lord Sugar overruled him and ordered Elizabeth to come back in as well.

In the end, it was Sajan who faced the pointed finger of doom. Next week, the teams are tasked with running a doggy day care. That could be … Ruff.

The Apprentice is on BBC1 on Wednesdays at 9pm.


Written By Mary Palmer


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