Artisan Marketing Communications offers clients PR and marketing communications advice, practical support and implementation.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Apprentice: pitiful

Are those really the best business minds of the future? Sir Alan is having a joke.

Last night's The Apprentice, or should I say An Apprentice, was excruciatingly funny.

I watched last night's episode with curiosity as the teams were given the job of creating a brand for a trainer.

Of course two days is little time to achieve much, but even if they had a lot of time they would have achieved little.

To use an Alan Partridge saying, "Your act is very poor." However, Cheeky Monkey and Joe Beazley (I preferred to picture someone with more talent than the contestants) - who had that criticism levelled at them - would have been better bets.

Camel like (in the nicest possible way: doe eyes, long eye lashes) Ghazal was a clueless team leader. But it would be wrong to mark her out as others who were supposedly brand consultants were not much better.

The contestants had to simply come up with a big idea and create an advert. They got caught up in being creative. They did not think strategically:

Who were the trainers suited for; they looked like trainers for older people?
Where are the gaps in the market if any?
What appeals to the market?
How can they differentiate their product and image?

Instead it was all about street and was toe curling and unconvincing.

I would have aimed a campaign at the older market, say 50-60s. Market it as an all round trainer. One you can go shopping with, relax, take the children to the park. This would have fitted better with the design. The tag line a shoe for all seasons.

Not much of an idea? Well, the teams were so obvious and lacking an originality that anything is better. Indeed, the winning team won by default as the standard was so awful.

They did not consider any market outside teenagers. Showing that spark would have shown some intelligence.

Sir Alan is not without fault. He wanted an advert that sells kit not one that wins Montrose film awards. My marketing communications teacher said that he won many advertising awards but the product did not sell and that he had many adverts that sold but did not win the prizes. The secret? There isn't one. It is impossible to tell what will work until tested. Surely Sir Alan had experience of that.

And without a properly thought through campaign using other marketing channels it is a silly brief.

Have you heard the one about the three contestants who claim that they are global brand consultants and advertising geniuses? The are really comedians without a joke.


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