Apprentice final ends in barroom tussle

Like many people in the UK, I watched the final of the Apprentice last night where Chris Bates faced off against Stella English (of course, Liz really should have been there but Lord Sugar has apologised a few times about that debacle).

I watch the Apprentice every year, and have even wanted to apply myself, but no year would have been better for me than this year; they had to make and brand an alcoholic drink! I’m gutted.

As usual with the final, the actual quality of the product itself isn’t important, branding is what matters, so both finalists left the mixing and choosing of ingredients to delegated members of their team. If you disagree with me about taste not being important to a brand, explain Budweiser… you can’t, can you?

Chris went with a pyramid styled bottle, with three sides, that really looked quite slick. Stella went with a bourbon, and tried to aim it at women as well as men. Both contestants really messed this one up though as bourbon, no matter how hard you try, isn’t going to appeal to women on the whole and Chris’ drink was pink… pink, so was never going to appeal to men on the whole.

So both contestants had a decent brand image, and both missed the target market of appealing to men and women. It was the adverts where things went a bit one sided though. Stella’s ad featured two couples in a bar ordering the drink, and really seemed to work. Chris however, already lambasted for his work on a previous task when he directed the ‘Germinator’ TV ad, made yet another balls up of this one. He spent the majority of shooting time attempting to get close ups of the barman mixing a cocktail with the product, except the barman seemed unable to actually get any of the ingredients in the glass. Ice cubes, shots and pomegranate seeds went all over the bar from close range as Chris’ advert seemed to get away with him. Perhaps the barman would have been better off using liquid filling machines rather than trying to use his obviously unsteady hand.

With only 30 minutes left to shoot the remainder of the ad, it fell into something of a disaster – and was even singled out as being dreadful by Lord Sugar. Not something you want to happen in the final of the show, and it cost Chris dearly.

It was a shame for Chris as his product looked good and his pitch was strong (even with his low flying bomber of a voice) but you just can’t do a rush job on an alcohol advert.

Maybe I’ll apply for the next one… couldn’t hurt.

Darren Jamieson, aka MrDaz, is the Technical Director and co-founder of Engage Web and has been working online in a career spanning two decades. His first website was built in 1998 and is still live today.

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