Saturday, 18 June 2011

The Apprentice UK Season 7 Episode 7

I'm a bit late on this episode because I'm currently abroad and it's incredibly hard to actually watch something with 0.66mbps, I can't imagine how I survived before with dial up.

This was another very good episode because it gave us quite a few memorable lines. Lets just lay it down now Natasha lead Logic and produced a lads mag called 'Covered' whilst Jim lead Venture and produced an over 60s magazine called... wait for it... 'Hip Replacement', yeah I'll get onto the names later.

Firstly lets talk about Logic. I think it's interesting how Natasha went straight into the lads mag, she's quite the "ladette" herself so it's quite amusing seeing her push it with Melody, Tom and Helen. Leon himself put himself out there as a regular lads mag reader now here's the deal, the clients basically laughed at them for being sleazy-nineties and that they didn't understand the "21st guy" but then surely Leon should have seen the problem, or does it mean that Leon is a sleazy perve... hmmm...

Quote of the Week:
Talking to over 60s at a focus group
Glenn: Humour. I mean I don't know whether you guys take any notice of that, whether it's the difference between you picking it up or not. (and then the looks from the over 60s plus Nick).

I think Glenn meant no harm but sadly he got lost in translation and caused quite an embarrassing and rather derogatory moment which basically was the headline for the whole project.

But what was even better was a conversation that went on this episode, which sadly does not fit as a quote so we now have... Conversation of the Week!

After the focus group Glenn and Susan are on the phone to Jim and Zoe talking about the direction of the magazine and name.
Susan: For the young oldies,
Glenn: For the young at heart,
Susan: For the young hearted,
Glenn: For the young at heart,
Susan: For the old looking young hearted, I don't know....
Glenn: No, I think for the young at heart,
Susan: Yeah, or just...
Zoe: How about something to do with being hip, like be hip... hip replacement.
... Jim thinking...
Jim: Zoe's thought of a good one, Hip Replacement.
Glenn: Yeah, Hip Replacement, I like that.
Susan: (smells something funny)
Glenn: Yes we've found a common ground there.
Susan: I'm just thinking is that a bit of a sensitive topic.
Glenn: No I don't think it is.
Susan: You don't think so?
Jim: All agreed on hip replacement, say aye
Glenn: Aye
Susan: Ok
Jim: Is that an aye Susie?
Susan: uh, not but I'm happy to support it, no problem at all.

That conversation was the most amusing and frustrating thing of this episode. How could Zoe even think of Hip Replacement and how could Jim and Glenn back it so gladly, and why doesn't Susan just voice her concerns louder even if it's just to make a scene so that she's heard.

It's interesting that Jim raised the point of Susie being meek, I don't think she's meek and mousey but she struggles to argue against the likes of Jim. She speaks a lot of truth but is generally not capable of conveying it to the group that comes with experience as a communicator. I'm expecting Susan to really get on the reigns now because she has done this a few times now, not getting heard. However that's exactly what is happening with Tom but for some reason he manages to sail through without people like Jim using it against him, hmm... Sadly I think Susan is just an easy target.

Honestly I love how Natasha managed to pull the lads mag concept through and how Helen and Tom were cringing and how Melody was cringing but up for it! I loved every expression from Melody regarding lads mags like when Leon said "how to blow your load" and then Melody looking quite worriedly at Leon. Ok in all honesty I have no idea what makes a good lads mag because I don't read them, never had, all I remember is that the "cool" guys in secondary school smuggled it into school and were all sniggering at it at the back of class or the school coach so honestly if I was in Natasha's team I'd probably be happy with putting "How to blow your load" in the magazine, maybe this point should have been caught upon by Leon who actually reads them. Rather than go down the idea of Zoo and Nuts maybe it would have been better to go with a general male target audience and do something more akin to Esquire

Now I'm onto Hip Replacement. The other team came up with a decent name but how did Venture settle for Hip Replacement. Zoe's logic was that it's about 'Hip' as in cool and hip hop, replacement being not only replacing the old with the new but also a play on words - how? All I read from that is the medical procedure that over 60s might need! It is rather condescending and ironic how the magazine was trying to say oldies are hip also but then teach them how to make a phone call. I understand where they are coming from but it's totally the wrong market. I accept quite a lot of over 60s don't really use much technology but if you're producing a magazine aiming at those over 60s who're young at heart do you really need a "how to make a phone call column". Maybe talk about texting but be more specific like "Ways to avoid long texts" - just off the top of my head.

I think Venture's loss came from two main reasons, one the name and two the pitch to Carat. Firstly I believe the name Hip Replacement at once put their concept in a bad place, that's why Glenn's pitch to Mediacom worked better because they didn't start with the name. Whilst the name boils down to Zoe, Jim and Glenn backed it 100%, in that situation 3 to 1 I think Susan was helpless and even if she argued her point it probably wouldn't have been heard. Secondly I think Carat like to think of themselves as quite "hip" so "Hip Replacement" was something they would never want to touch but then Jim not even negotiating with them meant they lost a lucrative deal because they offered Logic £60,000 compared to Venture's £0. 

Overall the margin was Logic: £76,500 - Venture: £25,850. The win mainly solely due to Carat. Overall the blame lies nearly exclusively on Jim this week because he failed to understand the problem with Hip Replacement - don't blame Susan for not being able to argue you down because this has happened more than once before - and because he was adamant with not giving a discount to Carat, an absolute no no for a start up business. And contrary to what some thought it had barely anything to do with the cover lacking "hip factor" because I believe all the publishers were willing to give a little "fake" money out. However on an overall basis Glenn hadn't produced anything special and did need to go.

What I liked about this episode is how I learnt that supposedly "Lads" nowadays are more educated and less sleazy and that the 'Lads Mag' market is slowly going down the drain - it's good to know that in a few years time I won't be categorised as a sleazy lad.

So Helen has seven wins out of seven! hmmm... Could this be a blessing or could it break her considering Lord Sugar doesn't really know her. My favourites are still Melody and Susan with Tom and Helen amongst my likes. Natasha is starting to climb back up the board and Leon is less annoying than he once was. Jim has fallen from grace because he annoyingly manipulative nature which is starting to grate on me and how he hasn't performed since the early stages. Zoe is still my least liked contestant. At this stage I think Leon, Melody, Helen, Tom and Zoe are the most likely Top 5. I think Natasha could make it as she's exceeded my expectations but I'm still unsure. Jim is on a thin line but has the potential to get back into Lord Sugar's good books whilst Susan's fate will lie solely on next week, if she performs she's through because she has Nick's backing but if not she's out.

Next week I won't be able to watch the episode because I'm in Australia till the following Wednesday but I'll try to catch up on my review asap.

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