The week 9 of the 2012 apprentice task was creating a new ad and online marketing campaign to raise the awareness of English Sparkling wine. The previous week was about selling urban art in a one night gallery sale. Did you read our review of week 8?
In an uncharacteristic gesture the teams were give 45 minutes to be ready rather than the more common 15-30 minutes. The teams were called to the champagne bar in St Pancras station and given the details of their task, to promote English sparkling wine using an integrated online strategy. Team Phoenix, who had only 3 remaining members, were given the choice of anyone from team Sterling. They chose Nick who is an internet Entrepreneur and has knowledge of websites.
Team Phoenix seemed to hold all the cards having a Wine expert, a Web expert and a Marketer as well as Adam. All of team Sterling wanted to lead and eventually Ricky wins out. He immediately begins on a negative saying to forget they have all the experts in wine web and marketing.
Team Phoenix split their team with Wine expert Tom and market trader Adam go to sample wines and learn more about them. Personally I would have sent jade and Adam to learn more as Tom had the knowledge already and he would have been more use helping Nick. Previously I had Tom pegged as a winner but spending the whole day enjoying himself and getting a little drunk while the other half of his team were working hard. I think this showed a lack of proper leadership and it let him down.
Team Sterling split the team with Gabrielle and Stephen doing research and then working on the marketing campaign while Jenna and Ricky visited the winemakers. Ricky and Jenna went back to the house to start working on the story board for the video. Ricky mentioned quality and not cheesy a few times but sadly it appears no-one was listening as the outcome on day 2 is not impressive to say the least. Stephen comes up with calling the wine Grandeur, which is a French word. Team Phoenix use the name ESW for English Sparkling wine.
On the second day Stephen and Jenna are put in charge of making the video. Ricky again said Quality not cheesy and they are in a Stately home with a giant Golden and red velvet throne. Immediately this looked like they hadn’t listened. The video comes out as incredibly cheesy and not in the correct vein at all.
On the other team Adam and Jade are making their video, which appears to be some happy people around a table drinking English Sparkling Wine. Tom and Nick are working on the website but seem to have made a website for existing drinkers of Sparkling wine and not a website to raise awareness.
Ricky looked really upset when he viewed their video but showed great restraint in not saying so. At this point there wasn’t anything he could have done so it wasn’t worth lowering the morale of his team before the presentation.
Team Sterling’s presentation seemed to be going really well until the video which was completely the wrong tone. Ricky’s presentation went quite well up until that point. Team Phoenix’s presentation seems to be a lot of talking from tom and their video and website don’t really fit the brief but it’s a good all round package.
In the boardroom Tom’s team all say he was a good team leader and Lord Sugar explains their errors and not understanding the brief. He says Sterling’s video was rubbish and way off the mark. I would have given the win to Sterling however, as they seemed to understand the brief better, the video aside and naming its Grandeur. They clearly understood their brief better but I think were undermined in the boardroom by Ricky talking about David v Goliath and the other team having the best people.
Team Phoenix are declared the winners and are sent off to sit in a hot tub looking over London’s skyline. Is it just me or are the treats not as good this series? We would have sent them Quad trekking on our Quads.
In the Boardroom Ricky brings back Stephen and Jenna who were most culpable with the video and calling the English sparkling wine using a French word. Gabrielle survives as she didn’t do a great deal but didn’t make any huge errors.
It was quickly made clear that the video error was down to Jenna and even though Stephen was involved as well he managed to deflect enough criticism from himself. Stephen did point the finger at Ricky and said he was most culpable and Jenna tried the tactic which often works which is holding your hands up and saying you won’t make the mistake again. Lord Sugar said Ricky should have checked up on his sub team with the video more but I disagree. A Manager needs to be able to trust his sub teams when given very clear instructions. After all, the contestants in the Apprentice are supposed to be good business people.
In the End Jenna was fired because Stephen guaranteed a win if he was project manager again. Lord Sugar said he had just escaped and would be project manager on the next task.
Like with all tasks our team building events help teach delegation and communication. Another key element is making sure you fully understand the task which team Phoenix, despite winning, clearly didn’t.