The Apprentices swan off to Heathrow where Lord Sugar gives them their latest task.
To design, produce and pitch a new beach accessory.
Synergy get their towels on first
Stella English is put in charge of Synergy. And she has no problem whipping the team into shape. Meanwhile over at Apollo Laura Moore bleats that she’s the best to lead the task.
Jamie Lester comes up with a towel with an integral cool box pillow. Which seems to be the only thing the team can think of. Later the designer points out the issue with this product – people will pick the towel up and everything will go flying.
Part of the boys team is despatched to Bognor, oops no, I mean a “beach in Southern England.” En-route Alex comes up with some ghastly names for their towel with integral cool box. And even spells the ridiculous brand name Cuuli he invents for the team!
When Alex gets to the beach rather than asking whether the product they’ve thought of is something that would interest people he goes off into asking about the name and the logo design! Branding, why on earth would that be important with a prototype product when you don’t even know whether the product is attractive to the market.
Marketing the Cuuli
Then Apollo get onto the poster design and the marketing.
Firstly, given a choice I’d change the name! Equally, I’d think of a better product.
Anyway, the boys snigger like little school boys and decide to railroad Stella into being the swim-suit clad model for the marketing for the towel-cool box.
The boys are disappointed that they don’t manage to find a bikini. They do discover a little top and shorts for Stella and she agrees to model the product wearing them.
The final poster is alright, the picture having been taken by Alex who’d taken great pains to make sure the towel branding was in-shot. Normally an essential thing, but I just find Alex annoying, so it annoyed me.
Presenting the Cuuli
When the boys present the Cuuli they go on about how “cool” the Cuuli is. And at the end of one of their bland pitches a buyer points out it’s about as stylish as a rolled up towel on a beach can be. Which to put it bluntly has a zero coolness rating.
The boys follow the girls pitch to Kit2Fit. They claim to be thinking of the extension to the Cuuli brand – baby Cuuli – please, give me strength! Although Kit2Fit do express some interest.
Apollo bring a book to the beach
Laura amply demonstrates her abilities as a great leader by talking over her team members attempted contributions, like a beach book reader. Which, obviously, is the one they eventually choose.
When the girls sub-team descend on the beach everything they try and come up with as a product is met with disinterest.
At least Laura’s research team actually ask their subjects whether what they’re thinking of is something they’d use. Then they suggest a foot-glove to protect your foot from hot sand – hello? Isn’t that a shoe, or maybe a flip-flop!? Paloma Vivanco says that she’s worried they haven’t come up with an idea. Really? What a surprise, and they even have a product designer on their team.
Finally they decide to have lunch which is when Laura rings them in desperation as the design for whatever they’re coming up with is needed soon! No ideas, of course which seems to throw Laura into even more of a panic.
Creative product design is missing
Initially Laura’s team suggest the “done before idea” of a waterproof case for valuables. When the designer points out it’s been done before, Laura and her team start struggling to think of anything else.
Finally at the eleventh hour Laura plumps for the book reader suggested right at the start by Joanna. And as a consequence the team have minutes to actually design it.
And because they only had a few minutes to come up with the design when the product arrives the next day it looks very flimsy and worth about ten pence. The girls struggle to put it all together, because it has 8 parts!
Pitching the beach reader: Book-eeze
World Duty Free is the girls first pitch. Where they manfully place their box of sand on the table for the book stand to the bemused stares of the buyers. The buyers manage to get arguments going yet again in the team when they ask who thought of the idea for the Book-eeze And Joanna truthfully says she did.
Afterwards the girls decamp to Kit2Fit and manage to invent yet another new word: “comfortability”. Hurrah for the ultimate flexibility of the English language.
Finally and most amazingly of all at Boots Laura manages to side step getting an order for the beach reader by avoiding exclusivity with Boots. Think about it a major UK retail chain: major footfall for customers buying sun cream and beach stuff. Particularly as they’d said they’d like to help her make it better! Which looking at it anyone with half an eye can see it needs a re-think.
Back at the beach-ridden boardroom
So it’s back to the boardroom where Lord Sugar and Nick and Karren reveal the sales figures for the two teams:
World Duty Free didn’t place orders with either team. Kit2Fit ordered 100 Cuulis, for some weird reason! And finally Boots ordered nothing from either team.
It was highly probable that Boots would have ordered quite a few of the Book-eeze but as Laura had decided not to give them exclusivity they ordered none. That one decision lost Apollo the task and also gave them the dubious honour of being the first team to come back with zero sales for this type of task.
So Synergy won, almost by default as only Kit2Fit decided to go with their product. The boys and Stella trot off to get golf coaching and then the arguments start at Apollo.
The girls get into a massive argument after Laura chooses Sandeesh and Joanna. Then after being called to order by Lord Sugar Laura changes her mind and asks
for Joy and Joanna to come in! Come on is she that wet that she changes her mind at the drop of a hat?
In due course, after pointing out that Joanna’s “passion” was disrupting the team Lord Sugar fired Joy for no contribution.
Was The Apprentice Firing Fair for Joy?
From what we saw during the task Laura came across as a completely incompetent project manager who couldn’t actually take decisions. So in reality I would have sacked Laura.
That said, I can also see why he fired Joy. After all you really don’t want to have people who don’t say much, or sit back and don’t contribute.
So whilst I can see the point about firing Joy, Laura should have gone as she appeared totally incapable of making decisions quickly enough or even controlling a team.