The Apprentices are given the task of promoting a new breakfast cereal.
This time the project manager for Ignite is marketing consultant Kimberly Davis and for Empire we have Kate Walsh. And advertising agency McCann Erickson is enlisted to help them produce a campaign.
The Marketing Task
This time the Apprentices need to impress the advertising agencies that would promote this product.
The other objectives they need to bear in mind are:
- Target children and their health-conscious parents
- Thinking of a good name for their target market
- Creating a character
- Designing an attractive, informative box
- Planning and shooting an ad
So how do The Apprentices manage?
Ignite Are Pants
Have you noticed that project managers that “lay rules down” seem to get into trouble on The Apprentice? So Kimberly makes a rule that everyone’s ideas are to be listened to.
Ignite slog through much discussion, some of which is completely off-brief – like Paula’s suggestion of a series of characters jumping out of the cereal. The brief was that only one character was needed.
Eventually Paul comes up with the silly idea that it’s so natural it’s “like you’re naked with your pants on.” What on earth is he talking about?
Ignite’s Team Flare-up
And because Kimberly seems unable to manage a team the ideas and arguments kick back and forth until eventually she has a vote on the character and then leaves no time to give the box designer the correct brief. And when they get their cereal box made up the following morning you can immediately see the complete lack of thought that has gone into the design.
And all during the task Lorraine and Phillip argue.
The problem with Kimberly’s approach is that she hasn’t split the team to allocate the tasks so making her team members accountable and to get more things done more quickly. And then she micromanages
Noorul Is Despatched To The Garage
Noorul enthuses about helping Kimberly behind the camera because he’s got amateur photo skills. Luckily Kimberly puts him into the garage so that the children will be surprised and happy about seeing “Pants Man.”
Yet when Noorul (aka Pants Man) is dragged in to see the children they look distinctly underwhelmed.
Mona’s presentation is not particularly well done. In fact she puts too many negatives about Pants man’s ability to wear pants outside his clothes and confuses their expert audience.
To be fair to Ignite their finished advertisement looks pretty good, despite Howard and Lorraine’s under-acting, even Phillip’s jingle comes across well.
The cereal box looks very basic and the agency doesn’t seem impressed.
Empire Squawks Ahead
Kate sends Yasmina and Debra on some market research. Later she sends Yasmina and James to get the jingle written.
Kate shows the way to be decisive by deciding in 5 seconds that they will go with a pirate parrot as the character. Well done, none of this drawn out discussion as demonstrated by Kimberly and Ignite.
A Great Pirate Parrot For Empire
The team get a good looking parrot designed, come up with a nice name or the cereal and work out how the whole box (front, back and sides) is to look. and when it arrives in the morning it looks pretty good.
When Empire asks the child actor to eat the cereal he reveals he has a nut allergy!
Kate Uses Her Balls
After all the time that Yasmina and James ad put in making the jingle Kaye decides that a male voice is better for the parrot – I couldn’t agree more because a pirate is perceived as a masculine activity. Normally I’d say it was something you should have discussed before hiring the session singer. However, given the 2 days to construct the whole campaign well done to Kate for having the ‘balls’ to do the right thing.
In the end the advert is all right, although not particularly well acted by Ben, or directed by Kate. Still it gets the job done!
When their advert is screened Debra does the initial presentation well and Kate responds very well to a question about the lack of product focus on the target markets.
Back To The Boardroom
The whole Pants Man concept was ridiculous. And then Lorraine says she wants to keep it simple – by using more characters, rather than one!
Plus the project manager (Kimberly) said that they had to make do with a quick call to the graphic designer.
Margaret thought that Empire worked really well together and the smiles they had on their aces showed they thought they’d done a good job.
So this time Ignite loses the task.
Lorraine Fights Her Corner
Lorraine comes across as being very negative. And Kimberly goes for the throat and tries to make her a scapegoat. And says some really strange things that you’d associate more with a “human resources” department.
Noorul keeps very quiet. Like I said before, give Noorul more project management.
Anyway, ultimately despite the fact that Phillip bulldozed the Pants Man idea through, Kimberly is fired.
Was The Apprentice Firing Fair?
Yes! I jumped of the sofa fist raised as Sir Alan chose the person who I was urging him (silently) to fire.
Kimberly failed to control her team. Both with The Bulldozer and with Lorraine’s negative viewpoints and failed to point out that Lorraine had misread the brief.
Plus Kimberly was meant to be a marketing expert but completely failed to deliver the box or the character.
Who’s The Favourite To Win At The Moment?
Kate Walsh managed her team well and certainly every time she was on camera she presented well. So to me she remains the definite favourite.
Phillip is hanging on in there but is coming across as too complacent. Both during the boardroom discussions and whilst Sir Alan was suggesting that Pants Man was complete rubbish.