Sunday, 5 June 2011

The Apprentice Series 7: Week 5

I have a love-hate relationship with the advertising task.  On the one hand, it's the task that gave us Pants Man and Octi-Clean, and it has to be respected for that.  On the other hand, though, it's probably the most insanely pointless of all the tasks they do.  If, after all, there was a genuine market for some new kind of pet food, and no one has noticed it by now, what's to make us believe that this shower of loons will discover it in the course of an hour long brainstorming session?  For that is this week's task, as we learn after another listen to Lord Shugagh and his 'you have to have the balls to smell the opportunity' (or whatever it is he says), another view of Tom's blue and pink pants (does he only have one pair, or does he have lots of pairs all the same?), and a shot of Glenn saying "This is gonna be creative, this is my kind of thing"  *sigh*  It's like they haven't even read last week's WhyNotSmile review, these people.

Vincent is put in charge of Logic (Ellie, Natasher, Jim, Lovely Tom and Melody), and Glenn in charge of Venture (Leon, Helen, Scary Edna, Zoe and Susan).  Ellie has a dog, so she's the team expert, with Lovely Tom as deputy because his parents used to have a dog.  Vincent wants to call their dog food 'Pal', which is so good it's already been done, on a fairly epic scale.  Natasher likes 'Pet-eat', primarily because she thought of it.

Glenn's lot have a weird brainstorming session, which seems to involve people shouting random pet puns and Glenn talking cliches like "no guts, no glory".  His lot are making cat food, by the way.

Vincent doesn't like the idea of niche; he wants this dog food to be available to the masses, and if it can also work for your goldfish and lizard, then even better.  Because what dog owners want to feed their pooches is a good generic mush.  They call it 'Every Dog', which is Lovely Jim's idea, and of which more presently.

Vincent, Natasher and Lovely Jim go to a dog walker group, where the dogs go mental and try to eat them.  There's also a vet there, who says that the worst thing you can do is to create a dog food that tries to cater to every dog on the planet.  When they call Lovely Tom, he doesn't like the 'Every Dog' thing, because it's crap, but he gets shouted down because that's what happens to Lovely Tom.

Leon is naming cat food, and goes for 'Lucky Fish', which sounds like a bad Japanese translation of something (I think the point is that the fish is lucky because the cat food is so nice that the cat won't eat the fish, but I may be wrong).  He goes to a cat lovers' place (with Natasher and Helen) and they explain the idea, and everyone loves it (I've no idea why, presumably because they're mental).  Meanwhile, the other half of the team are in a car, and Glenn glances out the window.  For a second he goes all creative, like this: Cat's Eyes... Cat Size... Catsize, and so the slimming cat food is born.  He wants the tag line to be "See their light", because that can be read as "See their light" or as "See, they are light (after eating our cat food)", and since that contains the most grammatically dreadful error I can imagine, I have to despise it.

Natasher, Jim and Vincent are interviewing dogs.  One of them was in Midsommer Murders, but is quite humble about it.  His main talent is jumping up and down, so they hire him for their advert.  Jim, incidentally, has long since entirely taken over the task.

There's a brief scene in which they're all making dog and cat food, which is both gross and irrelevant to the rest of the task.

Leon and co phone Glenn and co to explain the "Lucky Fish" idea, and Glenn says it's stupid but thankfully he has "Catsize" for them to fall back on, which they universally hate, but they go with it anyway because he forces them to. Leon, Helen and Zoe interview cats; one lady comes in with a sphinx cat, which is bald.  Leon says it looks like a chicken, and Zoe starts giggling hysterically.  Then Helen starts.  The woman takes up her cat and leaves in disgust.  Glenn calls to let them know about the "See their Light" thing, and they are almost paralysed with laughter.  If Glenn ever had any dignity as Project Manager, it has vamoosed quicker than you can say "Well that's a dumbwit plurp of an attempt at a slogan".  It is not, in summary, the most professional way to behave, but it's always funny to watch other people laughing.

Tomorrow they have to do the pitches.  The pitchers are Melody (confident, serious, almost too earnest) and Leon (can't really be arsed, spends most of his prep time drawing pictures of cats, and then gets paranoid that Glenn has put him in charge "for strategic reasons").  But before that they have to make their ads.  The cat one involves Ruby the cat coming into the room, eating food, and enduring some bad acting.  They've hired a voiceover guy to do the talky bit, which is odd, as they want it in a female voice.  Natasher is in charge of the dogs, and is talking more, moving more, and generally expending more energy in each minute than she has thus far in the entire series.  She also says 'yeah' a lot, especially when she disagrees with helpful things other people say.

And so to the pitches.  Melody is confident, serious and almost too earnest, much as we expected.  She talks about how they are pushing boundaries and then they show the ad.  At one point in the ad, a little dog jumps up and down a bit.  The audience almost have convulsions at how funny this is.  This is the funniest thing they have ever seen.  They cannot imagine ever seeing anything funnier than a little dog jumping up and down.  Weirdos.  They also point out that dog owners don't like buying generic dog food, because they actually tend to quite like their dogs.

On to Leon, who says: "Heh heh heh.  Um yeah, so heh, we came up with this idea, um we put it in pouches, he he he, it's about cats staying on the right side of obesity heh um you will see their light so they will glow afterwards here's the ad".

And to the boardroom.  For this task, there's no profit or loss or anything like that, so the winner is decided by Lord Shugagh after talking to the advertising people.  They watch the ads again, and again everyone laughs their heads off at the little dog jumping up and down.  Glenn describes "Catsize" as a double entendre, which means he's either not very good at the finer points of the English language, or he's very very weird.

So, to sum up, Glenn's lot did quite well with actually having an idea and a theme, but their ad was a bit wick.  Vincent and co had a funny advert (what with the hilarious dog jumping and all) but everything else was pants.  So Vincent loses again, for the 5th week out of 5.  So does Lovely Tom, which is sad.  Glenn's lot head off to play tennis with Pat Cash, which is nice but might have been better, say, 20 years ago; while Vince and co head to the Cafe Los Losers, where one imagines both himself and Lovely Tom no longer need to order, but just nod to the bloke behind the counter and mutter "the usual" as they sit themselves sadly down.  Again.  The concensus seems to be that the problem was the name, which, as we recollect, Jim came up with.  That's the one thing they all agree on: it was all Jim's doing.  Personally, I think it's a little unfair, but then who am I to muscle in, having done nothing but point and laugh?

Back to the boardroom, and it's all down to Jim again, and everyone agrees, and Lord Shugagh is clearly turning on Jim, because actually Jim is getting a bit smug and annoying, and I don't think he's so lovely any more.  Lord Shugagh asks how much of Jim is brains and how much is bollocks; you can see Lovely Tom drawing a pie chart in his head.  So now that we've decided that it's all Jim's fault, Vincent brings Ellie and Natasha back in for boardroom part 3.

Natasha's appearance is a little unexpected, as she made an advert that had the nation enthralled, so we know she's safe.  She does, however, provide some entertainment by saying things like "Vincent was so far up Jim's arse that he couldn't see the wood for the trees", which makes us all feel a little uneasy.  Ellie has been brought in, apparently, solely because she owns a dog.  So it's got to be Vincent who goes, no?

Well, no, because Ellie gets fired for not really doing anything.  I know of at least one person who yelled at the television at this point, because surely, surely Vince cannot have survived?

But then Vincent gets fired too, which is a double bummer, because not only has he been fired, but Ellie's already away in the taxi, so now he's going to have to walk.


bresker said...

'Lovely Tom' would be a good name for a cat food

Fresh Garden said...

Wow! Yeah!

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