Chris monotone Bates – what is it with this guy and pitching. I’m ranting I know but the guy really does take the biscuit giving advice to Sandeesh  Samra on pitching. Well a rant is great way to get going on my views and review of last night’s The Apprentice. We lost the eye candy last week and I am still amazed at the people who are still here and some of the quality that has left. At least we get to finally see Christopher Farrell take charge and do something other than back bite or run a factory line.

The teams were very unbalanced this week and Alex Epstein finally got a chance to take charge though he has been around and getting on sticking his oar in to other tasks rather than sitting back. So this time and I’m excited to see the energy and creativity. Though he was joined with Sandeesh and Laura and Stuart the brand Baggsy – oh yes and let’s not forget Chris Bates. Consider the opposition Super Liz, Joanna, Jaime Lester, Stella  and Chris Farrell a much stronger team.
The task was to put together a tv commercial for an imaginary cleaning product. The packaging too. Focus groups and such were used to get some ideas for a name and brand.  Stuart Baggs was animated and had some ideas but got caught up with his own joke ‘hast la vista gravy’ seriously gravy isn’t the worst to clean, he also seemed to be having so much fun in the sound recording studio. Maybe this is his forte – and what the hell he is young.
Lord Sugar based his decision I think on the muck up with the look of the bottle and lack of message. I could see what Alex’s gang was trying to do with the strength of the bottle colours but their designers let them down. Don’t get me wrong they produced a rubbish commercial (get rid of the kid in this context of scrubbing  the cooker down) also but as always this task wasn’t won it was lost less than the other side. Farrell’s teams commercial reminded LS of one of one of Nicks friends midnight movies or whatever that was about it was kind of forcefully ignored or missed, I love it when he comes out with these things.
Christopher Farrell went for a very normal boring looking bottle spray which was orange and with an octopus on the front for octi-kleene, an interesting idea based upon listening to a user group and an 8 handed octopus making light work of the cleaning was the thrust. Unthinkable years ago but a company did it first then they all followed. And I could see that with a great execution the red and black could work, it certainly was strong and would stand out on the shelves. Still that part of the task was not tested and perhaps this should be a task in its own right one day rather than this format. The message in Chris’ commercial was there though it was seedy even though the worst ended up on the cutting room floor. It was basically if you get the cleaning done faster then we can get on with being romantic on the couch sooner.

It really looked cheap this week, from the basis of the overall show and not because of the ads in it though they didn’t help.

The Boardroom
Chris Bates under pressure really showed his strength – he was right on the money not waffling (AND EVEN MANAGING TO GO UP IN TONE!) like so many of them and really underlined well why Alex should be fired and a few sentences later the digit of doom 😉 struck him down to a very jovial and entertaining  suite of ONE WAY goodbyes. But he really didn’t do well this week and LS mentioned his past performance had saved him. I think though Alex has been now in the boardroom 3 times and I thoroughly believe that too much PR speak has hurt him. And don’t forget last week’s disaster.  He didn’t manage the task well but more than that his marketing comms background should have meant his ad was right on the money with message nice visuals and smiles. Really I expected so much better, I think the rest somewhat brought him down.  But on the filming it was dark and batman like a cleaning ad must be light and airy. ‘The Germinator’ was a bit too fun and not serious enough though they really didn’t have many ideas other than ‘Blitz’. And I’m not to hot on names and you can get away with a bad name – even in this very industry Cilit Bang being a great example of the name not mattering if the product has advertising and backing.

We are all going to miss Alex, like Shibby we lost not quite a comedy hero. I mean like ‘so guys how was I ?’ it was deathly quiet in the cafe. ‘is the silence out of awe?’  Laura was really bad and moaning even more than Sandeesh this week and had he taken her into the Boardroom we might be able to laugh and smile at the crazyisms (Mel is that you ?) coming out of his mouth.

I do smile every time I do see Alex saying …

‘A lot of people ask if im on no theres no drugs…’
‘I’m always thinking outside of the box, If I was an apple pie the apples inside would be orange’

‘I am successful , I will be successful one day !’