Apprentice 8: Brand Me Baby!

margateThis weeks challenge is the most difficult so far, the teams are charged with rebranding – updating the seaside town of Margate. I’ve never been to Margate but I can’t say I’ve been impressed with UK beaches in general, and the Apprentice site itself refers to Margate as having “Once a jewel of the Kent coast, Margate still has a faded grandeur, but it is up to the teams to bring a much-needed sparkle for the 21st century.”

Their job is to produce posters and information that will attract new tourists to the town – and pitch their campaigns to tourism industry experts and residents of Margate.

Debra led Mona, Howard and James for Empire and they quickly decided to target the gay market – over Mona’s objections, she didn’t think it was “suitable” for Kent. Yasmina lead Kate, Ben and Lorraine for Ignite and target the family market based on the logic that in the current financial crisis families won’t be able to afford foreign holidays.

The pitches were well done by Howard and Kate, but the posters and brochures were horrendous. Extremely old fashioned looking and with way too much text on them, in the case of Empire the brochures weren’t finished. In the end the experts and residents gave Empire a total of 8/20, and Ignite 14/20.

Picture 20Debra bought James and Mona back into the board room, a great debate started which Sir Alan quickly labelled it a “Punch and Judy Show”. Debra tried to pretend that the “gay market” wasn’t James’ idea, and tried to claim that she couldn’t make decent posters out of the content sent to her.

Debra played a smart boardroom game, keeping relatively quiet but pushing all Mona’s buttons. James isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer but he’d pulled his weight on this task – even so Debra managed to neatly discredit him.

But it was Mona’s half-heartedness for the task that seemed to bother Sir Alan the most, after deliberating for a minute or two he pointed the finger at Mona and said the words she feared hearing “You’re Fired”

photo of Margate beach from anaru via flickr

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