The Apprentice 2017 – Week 7

The show has finished now, but I am still catching up on past weeks.

Dunton Technical Centre, Essex

Research and development base for Ford.


Inside the centre

The task

Each team are to be given a brand new car out of the factory and they have to come up with a brand and launch campaign. They have to create a TV advert and digital advertising for  the London Underground. They have to pitch it to advertising executives and Lord Sugar will ultimately decide which is the best campaign.

Lord Sugar evens up the teams. Sarah is moved to Vitality.

Vitality unveil their car

Graphene unveil their cars 


Anisa puts herself forward as PM for Vitality but then Michaela puts herself forward too and Jade backs her and the others follow. Observer Claude says that Anisa does branding and marketing on a daily basis and it should be her task but was dismissed as soon as Michaela put herself forward which was worrying.

On the other team James became PM unopposed. He used to run a car washing business when he was 13 he said! They decide what type of people to target and although Joanna suggests young women, they go with Bushra’s suggestion of families. James decides who to put in the teams, and Elizabeth suggests a woman, namely her, should go on the advert team, and James agrees.

In the car, Bushra and Joanna are discussing car names and Joanna comes up with Expando, saying the car is suitable for when you’re expanding your family.

On the other team, Michaela, Andrew and Jade come up with Miami, aiming the car at young women.

James’s half of each team come up with ideas for the TV ad. Elizabeth suggests an idea of a humourous ad with her in it as she breaks the mould of a working woman as she is tall and quirky. She says she doesn’t want to ramrod the idea through but James goes with it. They need a location for their ad and Elizabeth says they have to be outside a family home. James looks though a catalog of potential  shooting locations. James says the idea of a brand new car out of an old village like a Norman village would be good.

Meanwhile Joanna, Bushra and Harrison are looking at the digital advert for the London Underground for James team. Joanna has her and Harrison with giant play blocks. Charles, Anisa and Sarah look at producing a digital ad for Michaela’s car “Miami”.

James, Sajan and Elizabeth arrive at their location for their ad and Elizabeth says it’s not an actual chocolate box village but a pretend Norman village! “We’re scuppered” she says!  They can’t go somewhere else though so have to include it in their campaign. They use William the Conqueror as inspiration and come up with “conquer life”! They phone the other half of the team to tell them, and they say it doesn’t marry up with what they’ve done! Harrison says “they didn’t have cars in medieval times did they”?

Michaela, Harrison and Jade are on an Essex housing estate filming their TV ad. Harrison says to camera he has been sidelined as the other two do their vision.

Back in the Norman village, Sajan is getting loads of camera angles and footage and Elizabeth is concerned they’ve deviated from the   storyline.

The digital ad halves of the team work to the deadline. Joanna’s team work on the font for “Expando”.  Anisa on the other team has a bicycle with a “looking to escape normality?” question which flicks to the car with “Miami” over it.


The following day the teams need to pitch their brands and project manager Michaela says she doesn’t have the confidence to pitch but feels she should do it. In the taxi, her sub-team of Charles, Sarah and Anisa are concerned over this. Anisa phones Michaela to ask if she wants to pitch and Michaela says she is and wants them to be confident in her.

Both teams edit their TV ads. Elizabeth suggests to James how to edit it and some music to go with it. James does the voiceover but Elizabeth thinks it’s a mistake and she should do it!

On the London Underground the teams get feedback on their digital billboards. Joanne’s sub-team ask about “Expando”. “Unusual name for a car” they’re told! As for the “Miami” people think it’s a rental car in Miami!

The teams do their pitches to industry experts and journalists. They point out to James’ team that the digital ad and the TV ad don’t match. James and Elizabeth pass the buck to Bushra to answer! After a pause, she says the TV ad has a different kind of family and the point is that the car is reliable! In a linked area, the other half of James team are watching and Joanna  says to Harrison and Sajan that Bushra disagreed with whatever they came up with and that’s why they can’t get the best answers! The experts comment on the strapline “different day, same car” and using “same” is not good when selling a new car! They also comment on the name sounding like some kind of elastication garment. Bushra said it was about expanding for the family and the name when teamed with the font, worked well.

Michaela starts her pitch for the Miami a bit haltingly but picks up after a few seconds. The ad is shown with the tagline “move forward, move fast, move free”. One expert says you can’t use “fast” in cars ads. Anisa says that was a concern but they thought they’d gotten away with it! This is greeted with a frustrated “no”!”  by Jade in the watching room. The experts go on to ask Anisa if they had gotten feedback about the “car rental” and “bicycle ad” perceptions to which Anisa laughs and says yes to all the comments.  All this is greeted with horror by Andrew, Jade and Charles in the watching room. “Take her down” says Andrew!


Back in the boardroom

Vitality led by Michaela (seated far left)

Lord Sugar comments on the Miami’s tagline “Move forward, move fast, move free” as sounding like you’re escaping from prison!

Graphene led by James (seated far right)


Lord Sugar says Vitality’s digital ad wasn’t that great but at least it had some cohesion with the digital signage and was clearly the best. Their treat is to go down the world’s tallest tunnel slide at at the Orbit at the Olympic park.

Graphene were grilled on the task failure. James said he wasn’t creative but had delegated to the ones who were. Joanna was picked up for picking “Expando”. Lord Sugar said maybe Marks and Spencer could use it for their range of pants!  Sajan was asked about his direction of the awful TV ad and he said they had to focus on the car with the camera angles rather than the location. Lord Sugar said to Elizabeth that she had a hand in everything. She said it wasn’t “the Elizabeth show” and he said it seemed like it was! She said she  will try and rein it in but was just trying to move the process forward.

Lord Sugar asked James who he was bringing back into the boardroom and he chose Sajan and Joanne. Lord Sugar said that the failure of the task had a lot to do with Elizabeth so kept her back too!

In the firing line

Elizabeth, Sajan, James & Joanna

Sajan and Joanna said that James had let Elizabeth take over. Elizabeth denied she had and Lord Sugar asked her if she was a control freak, and she said no.

Lord Sugar said to Sajan that he keeps saying he’s creative and that Lord Sugar could say he’s good at brain surgery but he isn’t. He said Sajan had been there seven weeks and what had he done that was creative? Sajan said he had a photo booth business. Lord Sugar said that was just people having mug shots taken and there was nothing creative in it!

Lord Sugar said that James wanted his money to run a business but seems like he couldn’t run a bath! James said he’s put everyone in positions where they could shine.

Lord Sugar says Joanna  likes to take credit when something goes well but passes the buck when it doesn’t. She said she always took responsibility and put herself forward.

In summary, Lord Sugar says he’s worried that Elizabeth’s control freak mannerisms would not work with him; Sajan hasn’t any standout moments and isn’t that creative; Joanna is argumentative and confrontational and that worries him but what worries him most is that James let them walk all over him with weak leadership. However, he said he hasn’t seen anything from Sajan and fires him.

He warns Elizabeth that any more repetition of what she did in the task and she will be gone, and reminds the others of the warnings too.


 Goodbye Sajan

Goodbye Sajan

Well, as Lord Sugar said, he had a lot of candidates left and not many tasks, so it looked like Sajan was not the only one going but In the end the others lived to fight another day. Having brought back Elizabeth into the boardroom in addition to James’ selection of Joanna and Sajan, Elizabeth looked a gonner, but somehow she stayed.
None of them covered themselves in glory but I think Sajan just did the best with a bad job. The location of the advert was a major problem and James should have got this right. Elizabeth should have realised too, but she did try and do something, albeit too much!  The Expando name was awful and Joanna insisted on this despite Bushra’s queries, constantly putting her down. Bushra was dropped in it at the presentation by James and Liz when having to explain the disparity between the TV ad and digital ad.
I’d have fired James and Joanna.

Task summary
Week  Task name Winning team  Back in Boardroom Fired Comments
 1 Burgers Graphene (the girls) Elliott, Danny, Charles Danny Disagree. Would have fired Charles if only for having silly glasses!
 2 Hotel redesign Graphene (the girls) Jeff, Ross, James Jeff  Disagree. Would have fired Ross for lack of leadership.
 3 Robots Graphene (the girls) Harrison, Michaela, Elliot Elliot Disagree. Would have fired Michaela
 4 Stadium
Vitality (the boys plus Michaela and Sarah) Elizabeth, Siobhan, Joanna Siobhan  Agree, based on who was available.
 5 Lord Sugar’s birthday Graphene (the girls, minus Michaela and Sarah, plus James) Ross, Sajan, Harrison  Ross Disagree. Difficult one as they were all bad but probably would have fired Sajan for lack of planning.
 6 Bruges tour  Graphene Andrew, Sarah Jayne, Charles  Sarah Jayne Agree, but would have also fired Charles a shambolic performance.
 7 Advertising
 Vitality  Elizabeth, Sajan, James, Joanna  Sajan Disagree. Would have fired James and Joanna.

Posted on December 20, 2017, in Reality TV and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on The Apprentice 2017 – Week 7.

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