Christopher and Alex stepped up to bat as project managers.
While Chris came up with the masculine intimidating Germ-O-Nator for Alex's team, Christopher's group developed the multipurpose Octi-Kleen.
I have been looking forward to seeing Christopher lead since he excelled in the pastry task. However, I was sadly let down to find him inappropriately oogling women during auditions to find his advert wife. Not to mention, his 'sex sells' approach to this campaign, yet again, helped to lower the show's standards.
Candidates on both sides went on to have their egos bruised during the brainstorming process when their ideas were rejected. This is a common problem with creative tasks as people take criticism personally and don't know how to separate out their emotions. Chris was the best example of this behaviour. He refused to let his Germ-O-Nator idea go and bulldozed it through instead of focusing his energy on fresh new ideas.
Joanna and Laura also made this point. Both had expertise in their respective areas of cleaning and marketing and should have pushed harder to have their opinions heard. More importantly, the team leaders should have listened and not pushed these ladies aside.
At one stage Laura showed concern over the fact that Alex had cast a child to be the main character of their advert. The bottle clearly had to be labelled 'keep out of reach of children', so she felt this was an inappropriate way to promote the brand. Alex ignored her concerns despite the fact that he could have easily replaced the child with a woman from his team. Not only would this resolve the conflict of interests, but it also would have been the perfect opportunity to tie in and highlight the character featured on the label of his product.
One of the most important lessons in marketing is that you must understand your audience and their needs. In this case, it was women. Creating a masculine Germ-O-Nator bottle with an intimidating black and red label would never work, and neither would Christopher's advert that makes women look like slaves to men. They completely lost track of their target market and both campaigns were doomed from the start.
If there is just one thing I'd like to communicate to the candidates and business owners reading this article it's this: advertising is not art or comedy. How well people remember an ad or character is not a measure of how good it is. You need a unique selling point, clear simple communication, and a call to action.
The 'Wuz up' advert lost Budweiser 15% of sales over the three years that it ran. Everyone went around saying 'wuz up' but no one bought the beer.
On the flip side, simple adverts that satisfy a need and clearly communicate a call to action are often the most successful. A perfect example of this would be Tesco, who dominated the food market after they started running the simplest campaign with no fancy graphics or production. "Potatoes. 50p. This week. Only at Tesco." At a time where the recession had kicked in and the news was reporting a drastic increase in produce prices, this advert was music to viewer's ears and people went running to Tesco to save a perceived 75% on their groceries.
This was something my team failed to listen to and understand last year and all the teams throughout the history of the show have failed to address as well.
In the end Christopher's team prevailed, but only because they were the lesser of the two evils. (Liz Locke and her team triumphs again.)
Alex brought back Sandeesh and Chris to the boardroom and embarrassed himself in the process. Lord Sugar continued to state how much he hates marketing people and poor Alex never stood a chance.
Like me, he made the wrong decision of who to bring back into the boardroom with him. He might have survived if he had chosen fellow marketer, Laura. But even so, I have to agree the right person went this week.
Alex, thanks for bringing back the memories, but: "You're Fired". Hasta la vista...!