This week the 12 remaining candidates had to create an advertising campaign for a brand new out of the factory car. Lord Sugar asked for a cohesive TV advertisement and digital advertising screens. However, from the get go tensions arise, as Anisa who works in PR was out voted and Michaela was made project manager for Team Vitality. On the other end of the spectrum, Team Graphene diplomatically voted car fan James for Project manager. James wasted no time, assigning jumped Sajan as subteam leader, but Elizabeth once again in dire need of attention requests that ‘a woman be on the advertisement team’. I may agree with Elizabeth on a diverse mix of people for an advertising campaign, but her need to control is ridiculous and is becoming a deadweight to those in her team.
Team Vitality chose to target the female market, specifically women under 25. A respectful choice especially with Anisa appointed as subteam leader. Both teams then chose their slogan and brand name. Team Graphene chose ‘Expando’ suggested by Joanna because of their target audience of families, and the idea that every family ‘definitely’ wants to expand. Whereas Vitality chose the trendy and hip ‘Miami’. I appreciate the teams have a limited time to come up with the next big car brand, but it’s truly astonishing how quickly they latch onto two such terrible names. We’ve seen the behaviour year after year throughout the run of the series, they’re so close to the idea they can’t see how awful it is.
As we’ve come to expect, Sajan was completely silenced by Elizabeth, who’s increasingly possessive behaviour was questioned by Karen. Michaela on the other hand snubbed the slightly sexist Andrew, and took full control of the task. Whilst I respect Michaela and her tough love approach to the task, I think it was questionable to request to have someone in your team but not utilise them. Elsewhere James’ team mistakenly chose a mock Norman village to shoot their ad. The decision to stick with the location even though they knew it didn’t fit the brief or strapline for their ad meant whatever the other hapless team did James’s team was destined to end up in the boardroom.
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Michaela and Jade’s ‘woman power’ attitude towards filming on a private estate was to the dismay of Andrew, who described his experience as: ‘being swept to the side line’. Personally, I think this was a good thing, in past weeks Michaela has had little time to shine among the other candidates, and it was about time she got her ‘moment of fame’. In Normandy, Sajan’s directing was torn to shreds by Elizabeth who loomed over him like a vulture over its prey. Sajan might not be winning the Palme d’Or anytime soon, but I fail to see her reasoning for attacking his effort none the less.
Meanwhile Harrison and Joanna’s time playing ‘house’ produced a very professional looking digital advertisement for the team, hitting the nail on the head in terms of addressing their target audience of families. Bushra’s attacking of Joanna was uncalled for, especially from someone who has done little to nothing throughout the entire competition except snigger at other people’s contributions. Because of this Team Vitality’s ‘Miami’ panel looked bland and unoriginal with most who past it assuming they were promoting car hire rather than a fresh car brand. Meanwhile, back in the Norman village, Sajan’s ‘creative’ vision was far from Oscar worthy, with over 20 shots, there was far too much substance and not enough style.
As predicted the pitch to Lord Sugar’s ‘experts’ was a disaster for ‘Expando.’ Their ‘same car, different day’ slogan was rightfully blasted, and Sajan’s cinematic masterpiece relevance to the digital advertising was questioned. Graphene’s Anisa almost destroyed their pitch, admitting that their digital panel could be read as a holiday or competition, the rest of her team’s reactions said it all; she could have undone the efforts of both the main and subteam in a second. If her team had not succeeded I have no doubt she would have left the competition this week.
In the boardroom is was made evident that Team Graphene’s effort this week was an utter failure. The team had no idea what they were doing. Elizabeth’s Stanley Kubrick-esque attitude towards making an advert had (as expected) reflected the entire team’s effort negatively. Lord Sugar’s decision to bring her back into the boardroom along with James’ choices was completely justified. Her arrogance is far from admirable. Sajan, James and Joanna were not exempt from the firing finger though.More so than any other series, it’s really hard to imagine any of this crop winning.
In the end Sajan got the chop. You can say you’re ‘creative’ as much as you like, but actions speak louder than words and from the ‘director’ of the advertisement, I saw very little. Lord Sugar’s warnings towards the candidates are becoming all but too common, and I think in the coming weeks as the end draws closer, he won’t be as lenient with failure and negativity as he has thus far. I’m not entirely sure how Elizabeth escaped without a firing, if I were cynical I’d say it’s because she makes for interesting TV.
Contributed by Callum Bancroft
The Apprentice Continues Wednesday at 9.00pm on BBC One