YoungApprentice2011_Logo2This week�s task was dominated by the personalities of the two team leaders � selected by Lord Sugar, who clearly had a shrewd idea what would happen.

Let�s however start with a few raw details about the task itself.

The teams had to create a brand and a TV advert for an antiperspirant/deodorant targeted at the teenage market, and pitch it to a handful of advertising execs at leading agency, JWT.

The teams were picked as:

Atomic: Zara leading Hayley, Haya and Harry H

Kinetic: Harry M leading James, Gbemi and Lizzie

The Gloves come off

The first shots we saw of the teams, showed Kinetic arguing.� Harry M was clearly keen to go for the teenage girls� market, while his team mates wanted to opt for boys.� He over-ruled them without entertaining any discussion and then repeated this approach in deciding on names.� James clearly wanted � rightly � to think a little more carefully about a concept, but Harry jumped on the first name that he liked and imposed� his will:

�I�m project manager; this is what I want to do�

By then this was the third time he�d said something to that effect and we were less than ten minutes into the show � including the opening sequence, �previously��, and Lord Sugar�s briefing.

Zara also had a very clear idea of what she wanted to do and, as a powerhouse of ideas, she had plotted out her whole advert on a story board by the time colleagues Harry H and Haya returned from the focus group with the bad news � they hated the concept.� Zara really wanted to stick with her plan � you could hear it in her voice.� But she also recognised the risk that entailed and, when Haya offered an alternative advert scenario, she dug deep and changed her mind.� But she did so in a way that i thought wise and mature.� Haya�s idea was to predicate the whole advert around a solo dancer.� Zara agreed to go with this as long as one of the dancers in their audition was good enough to carry the ad.� One was and she swapped plans.

Ding Ding Round Two

After a pre-round sparring match between James and Harry M (we need not concern ourselves with James� blatant power play) the teams were off to write their pitches (we saw none of that) and film their adverts.

Zara was assisted as director by Hayley.� Zara clearly had good experience in making a film and looked confident in the director�s role.� She took plenty of shots and was decisive about what she wanted, although I hope she shot the �before� and �after� shots before the dancer got so sweaty from the multiple takes, or the antiperspirant effect of their product, RAW, would not look so great.� However, Hayley had some good instincts too, frequently pushing Zara for ever clearer product shots.� Zara, however, was in her element and was no longer in listening mood.� In the editing suite, we saw her over-rule Hayley with no better reason than �it�s a judgement call�.� Yes, it is, but I think Hayley�s judgement was better.� Show the product clearly with the minimum of visual clutter in the closing product shot.� It�s Rule 1.

And then there were Powell and Pressberger.� Harry M an James turned up to the shoot with no story board and� differing ideas for the details of the shoot.� They then proceeded to each try to write, direct and produce, offering the camera man conflicting instructions and generally looking pretty amateurish.

The Pitches

All I want to say about the pitches was that Lizzie did well � she looked under-rehearsed and there were no real sell lines, but she looked natural and informal.

� And also that Harry H�s pitch was really very good.� It was well written, the humour was just right and he looked confident and spoke well.

To summarise the products and their adverts, on which Lord Sugar would make his decision�

Atomic: targeted the male market with RAW �Live it Raw� and made an advert based on a single charismatic street dancer

Kinetic: targeted the female market with Vanity �Your scent can change but you won�t� and made an advert showing �nerdy� girl pulling two fit blokes on the dance floor, supported by her scent

Spoiler alert

Merrill-Reid Social Styles

What we saw was the effects of two team leaders near the extremes of one of Merrill and Reid�s four Social Styles.� This model looks at two aspects of personality to classify people�s preferred style of social interaction in one of four categories.

Assertiveness measures the extent to which you assert your will over others, from Asking to telling.� In asking mode, we are co-operative and prepared to deliberate over decisions, whist in telling mode, we prefer to impose our will and to challenge others.� Responsiveness measures the degree to which we let our emotion control our behaviour or to which we control our emotions.� At the emoting end of the scale, we value relationships and are seen as open to others and warm in our dealings.� At the self control end, people perceive us as cool and serious.� Guess where Zara and Harry M sit on these two scales!

The label Merrill and Reid give to a self controlling, telling personality is �Driver�.� These are people who will drive the process in their way.� They risk alienating the people around them and only tend to succeed when either they happen to be right, or their self control allows them to listen for a while.� Clearly, Zara�s team won � as they did � because she was able to listen more.� Her advert and overall concept were better.

Merrill-Reid Social Styles

Confident Harry M did not listen and he did not prepare.

His team paid the price.

But Harry M survived: Lord Sugar described him as having some good qualities (sales and presentation) and, sometimes his judgement has been good � although not yesterday. As a five times loser, one may be tempted to liken him to Tom Pellereau, but I don�t.� He does not have Tom�s sharpness of insight � especially into his own shortcomings.

James also survived.� His style may be softening a little, but he can still grate.� Ultimately, however, he was not culpable this week and does have some sound business sense � even if it is a little more Alan Sugar-age 16-down the market than suit and tie business-man.

Gbemi was fired.� I think she deserved a lot of the blame for a weak packaging but significantly, I think she has never shown enough positive strength, and passengers need to be getting off the train at this stage.� She did also seem to be struggling with a heavy cold, but we�ve all been there.� I think she came across as a genuinely nice person with determination and some talent.� I think she will do well, but last night, Gbemi ran out of luck.

Zara and Harry are still my front runners, but I am starting to think James may be one to watch.� I wouldn�t pick him, but then, I am not Lord Sugar: diamond in the rough anyone?

Young Apprentice 2011-Week 5

3 Responses to Young Apprentice 2011–5: A Tale of Two Drivers
  1. I love these blogs � you write what I think!

  2. Great blog. 🙂

    I have to disagree with you and Hannah on the Raw shot though. At first I was leaning that way, but the truth is that the product stands out much better with a dark blue background than the grayish whites and wood of the ‘clean’ shot. This enhanced the image in the same way you used a dark green, not wood and yellows to highlight the title of your blog. Gray, orange and blue work well together.

  3. Sorry, that was Hayley.


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