The Apprentice, Series 3, Episode 8

by

Simon Ambrose thinks he's the man 

The world of corporate branding, no matter what the experts tell you, is dominated by one cold, hard rule. Mark E Smith put it best when he garbled some brilliant, unrelated nonsense about the ‘three Rs’ – ‘repetition, repetition, repetition’. Repeat your brand name at any given opportunity – stamp it into the empty, blinkered heads of the masses. Flash your logo whenever you can. One word intertwined with one image, and there you have your branding. Repeat it a mind-numbing amount of times and pray that your target is stuck with it for life. And that, as we all know, is what corporate branding is.

In this series of the Apprentice it’s becoming clear that the tasks are structured a lot more rigidly. Essentially it boils down to this: listen to the brief, word-for-word. Follow it to the letter. Don’t allow peripheral annoyances to bother you and you’ll win. Sugar say: ‘best of British produce’ – get the finest quality Brit foodstuffs you can lay your paws on. Sugar say: ‘Get all the products on the list’, don’t worry about a bit of tardiness. It’s actually amazing how this hasn’t sunk in for some of our cast of hopefuls, but still, it hasn’t. Meaning the quality of the series remains.

Incidentally, Sugar was on Jonathan Ross last week, and he slagged off the likes of me, calling us armchair critics a yiddish word (‘kvetsch’, possibly?) which sums up those who mock without trying. He has a point, but nevertheless, let’s focus on where the losing team fucked up, and balls to Sir Alan.

Ghazal was taken up on her offer of being team leader, looking to prove a point as she failed to shine last week. She led a team of girls – Naomi, Kristina and Katie. Ah – Katie. Dreaded Katie – the scourge of this series. Katie said, at one point, that she hoped Kristina would get fired in a ‘physical sense’. Which suggests she wants Kristina dead. Killed by gunshot. She’s a nice girl, ain’t she?

As Naomi – herself an experienced ad executive – prepared to take a leading role, coming up with an umbrella concept for them to brainstorm (vomit-inducing word), Katie stole the reins from her loose grip and began pushing the name ‘JAM’ for the trainers. It was given to the designers and the logo promptly branded onto the footwear. As the brainstorm (again, horrible word that – can’t believe I’m using it) progressed, Katie coerced Ghazal into using the tired pun on sole/soul, coming up with ‘Music’s In Your Sole’ as a strapline. Not great. They couldn’t tie it into the name JAM (though there is actually a tenuous link), and thus their branding was all over the bleeding shop, to use Sugar parlance.

Jadine, finally at the forefront having skulked in the shadows (has she been on holiday?) took charge of the other team and made the decision to go with an all boy’s group. With Tre, Simon and Lohit on side, she cruised to victory. Despite the utterly woeful advert they produced, they branded heavily. In fact, I’m sick of the word ‘street’, which was the name of their product from the off, alongside the tagline ‘Reclaim the Streets’. Cheesy as a fetid cock, but it sticks in the mind. In fact, it’s indelible, I can still hear Hampstead-boy Simon’s attempt at bustin’ a flow over some urrrrban beats as he told the massive to reclaim the streets. His crap patois is still ringing through my poor shell-likes. Subtle, it was not. Why not get Jadine or Tre to do the voiceover? Admittedly Lohit might not have sold many running-shoes with his softly camp approach.

They also got Simon to do the dancing for the video as they couldn’t find any actual dancers. The sum total of his skillset was the ability to pull off a handstand. Shite-bollocks dancing, Tre called it and I couldn’t have put it better myself. ‘I’m a dance-man’, he repeated to himself, over and over. ‘You’re no 50 cent. More like 2 bob’, Sugar more accurately had it. He seemed tickled by Simon’s performance though, his mask slipping slightly in the boardroom. Golden boy Simon somehow won the day yet again. They all got to make cocktails in the Savoy afterwards, and then put those cocktails in their faces. The lucky bastards.

In the boardroom, fun and games. Ghazal’s tactics of defence were simultaneously clever (bringing back Katie and Naomi – the worst performers) and idiotic (shouting meaningless nonsense whenever asked a question or criticised). Katie largely kept quiet whilst Ghazal needlessly laid into Naomi. We, Katie, Sugar and Ghazal all know that it was Katie’s fault the task was failed, with all her talk of urban consumer ‘Jay’, the street kid she’d invented, presumably drawing on her experience of working with down-and-out Etonians.

When it came to what has now become the regular ‘Katie-dig’ section, she was branded a ‘loser’ by Sugar, having been on the losing team for 6 out of 8 tasks. You can’t really argue with that. Sugar put it in football terms, and 6 points out of a possible 24 is surely relegation form. However, in a slightly artificial moment of drama, Sugar switched from a huge Katie-critique to Ghazal and fired her. Which is a shame as she’s a bit of a smasher in the looks department. Especially when sitting alongside the boardroom face of Katie, which is essentially a rictus grin on a puce/purple backdrop of wobbly skin.

Somehow, Katie holds on. Her card’s marked and she’s disliked by a nation, but somehow her claws remain on the corporate ladder. God willing, she’ll slip spectacularly.

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18 Responses to “The Apprentice, Series 3, Episode 8”

  1. Paul Groves Says:

    Like the ad campaigns the two teams devised, The Apprentice wannabes are all style and no substance…except Tre who manages to barrel along despite the absence of either style or substance.

    As for Sir Alan’s criticism of armchair critics, I can only say that if his wannabes are so good they shouldn’t need a reality TV programme to land a £100,000-a-year job.

    Those who can do, those who can’t compete on reality shows or worse end up presenting them.

  2. piqued Says:

    I wished I’d watched Grand Designs; I was bored out of my chuff

    Though I did notice that Naomi is incapable of standing up/sitting down without spreading her pins at 10 to 2, the harpie

  3. Swineshead Says:

    Are you missing Kev? You want to do a bum on Kev.

  4. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    “This is my job,” thundered Tre, “this is what I do.”

    He was referring to his high-powered job in ‘marketing’ (the twat word for ‘making adverts’), Well I wish I had his job if all he has to do to get paid is sit on a sofa sulking and not contributing a damned thing. Where do I apply? I love employment that allows me to do sod-all and get paid for my troubles.

    What does this fool do in his ‘marketing’ job? Make the tea while the big boys dream up what to have Barry Scott shout next? No wonder the egotistical little pup gave his job up to go on this loathsome talent show – I suppose the chance of helping Sugar’s company go down in flames on the back of the bully’s E-mailer obsession is a step-up from fetching biscuits for the genuis who came up with crap such as the Halifax ads.

    And that Katie should be flogged with a dog-whip, by the way.

  5. Matt Says:

    My money’s on Katie.

  6. Swineshead Says:

    Your money shot?

    Dirty boy.

  7. piqued Says:

    Katie won’t win because she’s a cunt of the first water

    Simon might get it, Sir Hairy Bollocks was impressed with him yesterday, I reckon he actually sqeezed out a bit of spunkz when Simon did the splits

    OOOH SEXI

  8. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I think Sugar should give the job to that white-haired old woman who sits next to him in the board-room. She’s intelligent, keeps her head down and by God wouldn’t I just love to ‘ave her great big dangling udders in my hands when it comes to coupling Horse Artillery-fashion? I’d happily charge hell-for-leather into a bout of close-quarter wrestling with that old bag, you see if I wouldn’t – hey hey.

  9. piqued Says:

    I think the Dracula-man would have something to say about that NP, he sits on the other side of Alan, the dark side, and he’s always taking notes.
    I reckon if he even saw you looking up the white-haired old women with so much as a hint of lechery you’d wake up at 4 am choking on your own genitals.

  10. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I reckon I could take him. Surely if I keep to the light and arm myself with onions or whatever it is I’ll be safe? All I need to do is drive a stake through his arse, grab the GILF and it’s away to my love-nest for a night of hot rutting and hemorrhoids.

  11. piqued Says:

    You wouldn’t hear a thing my friend, and when you did, it would the sound of your own cock-stifled screams, yeah

  12. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I’d still give it a shot if that haggard old woman was the prize, you see if I wouldn’t.

  13. piqued Says:

    Even if she was like this

  14. proudfoot Says:

    At what point was that supposed to be a rap that Simon was doing?
    He was just shouting a load of unoriginal crap in an accent which I found plain insulting.

    Come on Swineshead, do you really think it would have sounded better with Tre doing his wideboy impression over the backing track? Surely not! And Jadine? Would it have sounded somehow more authentic just because she happens to be black? I don’t think so. None of them are ‘from the streets’, whatever that means. They should have chucked a tramp a few pennies to do a ‘rap’, as they are the only people truly ‘from the streets’.

    Also, the lyrics Ghazal was coming up with were like an eight year old’s; beyond embarrassing.

  15. Paul Groves Says:

    Reclaim the street.
    Put these on your feet.
    They are quite cheap.
    But you’re like sheep.
    You all follow the crowd.
    Copy those who shout loud.
    So give us your money.
    We laugh but it ain’t funny.
    We giggling at you.
    Coz you is all poo.

    Errr….boooiiiiiii!

    (I was doing energetic headstand style dancing while typing this).

  16. Swineshead Says:

    Proudfoot – look at the facts – Paul is from Hampstead, a leafy, extremely wealthy area of London and his accent is the richest proof of this. He’s got half a dozen plums in his fucking mouth. Now- compare and contrast that accent with Jadine or Tre’s. Simple isn’t it?

  17. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I agree with Proudfoot – you’re a racist Swine, plain ‘n’ simple.

  18. Swineshead Says:

    I cannot tell a lie. I hate posh white berks from North West London.

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