Sunday, 14 November 2010

The Apprentice 2010: Episode 6

We have to assume that Stuart Baggs The Brand was not lying when he said that everything he touches turns to 'sold', as the phone which he answered not 2 weeks ago appears to have vanished, ensuring that Lord Shugah has to turn up at the house himself.  Half seven, and they're all in their jammies, apart from Stella, who's fully dressed.

There's a good deal of panic as word spreads, and probably for good reason, as Lord Shugagh is in the sitting room playing Cut The Rope on his iPhone, and looking a bit impatient. Stuart Baggs The Brand remains calm, but turns up in socks and shorts.

So, they've to make a marketing campaign for a cleaning project, and they've to appoint team leaders who haven't been in charge yet.  Now, Jo owns a cleaning company, so that's going to come back to haunt her; the other team is mercilessly without merit, and therefore might just be ok.  Or not.  Because Alex has a background in advertising.

If Alex was an apple pie, the apples inside would be orange, apparently.

So Alex gets put in charge of Chris, Sandeesh, Laura and Stuart Baggs The Brand, a team so doomed to fail that I might as well be up front and tell you right now that they lose.  But with style, so stay with me.

On the other team, Christopher is put in charge and is bringing the killer instinct of a Royal Marine into his business.  Gulp.

They have to think up some colours for the bottle, an advertising campaign, and a general marketing approach.

At Christopher & Co., Stella thinks cleaning makes you all happy and passionate, which sounds naff, but in retrospect might have had more legs than what they ultimately come up with, rather ironically.

Alex & Co come up with 'Swipe' which is ok, and then Chris comes up with 'Germinate', which Alex (rather wisely) hates.  Laura and Alex come up with 'Helping Hand', which is so mediocre even Chris laughs at it.

Christopher and Stella head off to the poshest Mother & Toddler group in the country.  It's all cupcakes and metallic balloons and nice clean children in co-ordinating outfits.  One of the mums comes up with the idea of 'octopus', as she needs more arms.  They love it.  They absolutely love it.  It's The One.  It's The Idea.  Never mind that it's a bit rubbish.

Stuart Baggs, Sandeesh and Chris are off to a more normal parent and toddler group, although it only appears to have about 3 toys, which is a bit sad.  Chris asks what they think of 'Germinator', and they hate it.  They love 'Helping Hand' though.  Weirdos.  They also think the bottle should be yellow.

Alex and Laura are in the supermarket, looking at bottles of cleaning stuff.  Laura suggests they could call it 'Blitz', which I think is quite good, but Alex thinks old people might not like it, but are all dead anyway, or something. They end up back on Germinator, because Chris has thought up an advert and Stuart can do a good Terminator impression.

And so to the designers.  'Octo-Kleen' looks quite good, like an actual thing you'd buy.  'Germ-o-nator' looks like something you'd kill rats with, which is weird because it has a picture of a child on the bottle.  And also it has to be kept out of reach of children.  Which is particularly unfortunate, since their advert involves a child using it.

And so to the recording studio, where Stuart is doing impressions of germs ('influenza is cockney'), while Laura whines that she hasn't been utilised enough, and the sound guy contemplates beating Stuart to death with his headphones.

Meanwhile, Christopher's team are creating the most appalling, creepy, hideous piece of footage ever to come out of the television age.  It's so bad, I'm not even going to describe it.  This is one of those episodes you just have to watch.  To summarize, wife is dismayed at mess of house, husband sits on sofa, she dresses as an octopus and uses Octo-Kleen to clean faster (because she now has so many hands), before joining him on the sofa, for a night of what can only be imagined as pure agony.  Nick is appalled.

Chris is directing the Germinator advert.  Does anyone know what the adverb for 'mediocre' is?  Because it would a useful term to have in one's vocabulary to describe the way Chris does things.  Anyway, small boy with toxic chemicals does well, and otherwise it's all quite mediocre.

Finally, they have to pitch to industry experts.  Laura knows what she's talking about, and comes up with a decent pitch, which Alex then hands to Sandeesh to do, because yet again, she hasn't really done anything.  Laura thinks it's a bit rubbish, because it is, to be honest.  She whines some more.

At the agency, there are actual people who actually really know what they're talking about.  This should be fun.  Sandeesh goes first, with Germ-o-nator.  She pitches quite well, in the end.  Then they watch the advert.  One of the industry people asks how funny they think the ad is, and Chris says he's watched it, like, 20 times, and has peed his pants every time.  Stop, Chris.  Stop. Now.

Next, Octi-Kleen, where 8 hands are better than 2.  Jamie says men don't want a night of fun in a dirty house.  Women find it hard to keep up with these demands.  So Octi-Kleen is great.  They watch the ad and cringe in unison.

Feedback to Lord Shugagh; basically, they all hated them both.  They say things like 'travesty' and 'distasteful'.

In the boardroom, we're forced to watch the adverts again.  Lord Shugagh points out that they're both basically rubbish.  And the advertising people thought they were both basically rubbish.  Christopher's team are told that 'technically, they haven't lost', because Lord Shugagh quite likes the octopus.  They don't get much of a treat, though, as they're shipped off to a dodgy looking karaoke den to sing 'We Are The Champions' really badly while wearing cowboy hats.

In the losers' cafe, Alex asks for feedback, and they all stare at him and sip more tea (from, and I hadn't noticed this before, polystyrene cups.  What kind of cafe is this?).  In the boardroom, Alex is all up for 'discussing this further with Lord Sugar', which is good, since Lord Sugar is well up for discussing how crap they were.  There's an argument about whether the mums said the bottle should be yellow (they did, but whether the information was passed on is lost to the cutting room floor).

They snipe some more, Sandeesh looks fed up and Laura whines a bit.  Alex waffles.  Then he says Sandeesh was great, and he's bringing her and Chris back into the boardroom.

Out they go and in they come.  Alex is told he didn't manage well, and points out that he manages people all the time, which doesn't help.  Chris and Alex yell at each other for a while.  It's a weird combination of mediocre and mental.

Sandeesh gets sent back to the house by Lord Sugar, because Alex was stupid to bring her back in.  Then Alex gets fired, but 'with regret'.  Anyway, Alex doesn't need Lord Shugagh, he says in the taxi home.

Back in the house, Laura is saying "I know everyone's shocked I'm here, which is really obvious, so thanks, but anyway...".  It's all very passive agressive.

Time to start making predictions, I think.  Currently, my hypothetical money's on Stella or Liz to win, with Jamie and Christopher as outsiders.

Next week they have to sell big screen experiences to the general public; I do not know why, possibly because they haven't sold it to me yet.  Someone meticulous gets fired, so I'm thinking Christopher.

1 comment:

bresker said...

I think the Germinators should have won, despite their obvious failings. That Octokleen advert was cringeworthy.