Letï¿½s 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.ï¿½ Harry M was clearly keen to go for the teenage girlsï¿½ market, while his team mates wanted to opt for boys.ï¿½ He over-ruled them without entertaining any discussion and then repeated this approach in deciding on names.ï¿½ James clearly wanted ï¿½ rightly ï¿½ to think a little more carefully about a concept, but Harry jumped on the first name that he liked and imposedï¿½ his will:
ï¿½Iï¿½m project manager; this is what I want to doï¿½
By then this was the third time heï¿½d said something to that effect and we were less than ten minutes into the show ï¿½ including the opening sequence, ï¿½previouslyï¿½ï¿½, and Lord Sugarï¿½s 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 ï¿½ they hated the concept.ï¿½ Zara really wanted to stick with her plan ï¿½ you could hear it in her voice.ï¿½ But she also recognised the risk that entailed and, when Haya offered an alternative advert scenario, she dug deep and changed her mind.ï¿½ But she did so in a way that i thought wise and mature.ï¿½ Hayaï¿½s idea was to predicate the whole advert around a solo dancer.ï¿½ Zara agreed to go with this as long as one of the dancers in their audition was good enough to carry the ad.ï¿½ 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 Jamesï¿½ 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.ï¿½ Zara clearly had good experience in making a film and looked confident in the directorï¿½s role.ï¿½ She took plenty of shots and was decisive about what she wanted, although I hope she shot the ï¿½beforeï¿½ and ï¿½afterï¿½ shots before the dancer got so sweaty from the multiple takes, or the antiperspirant effect of their product, RAW, would not look so great.ï¿½ However, Hayley had some good instincts too, frequently pushing Zara for ever clearer product shots.ï¿½ Zara, however, was in her element and was no longer in listening mood.ï¿½ In the editing suite, we saw her over-rule Hayley with no better reason than ï¿½itï¿½s a judgement callï¿½.ï¿½ Yes, it is, but I think Hayleyï¿½s judgement was better.ï¿½ Show the product clearly with the minimum of visual clutter in the closing product shot.ï¿½ Itï¿½s Rule 1.
And then there were Powell and Pressberger.ï¿½ Harry M an James turned up to the shoot with no story board andï¿½ differing ideas for the details of the shoot.ï¿½ They then proceeded to each try to write, direct and produce, offering the camera man conflicting instructions and generally looking pretty amateurish.
All I want to say about the pitches was that Lizzie did well ï¿½ she looked under-rehearsed and there were no real sell lines, but she looked natural and informal.
ï¿½ And also that Harry Hï¿½s pitch was really very good.ï¿½ 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 decisionï¿½
Atomic: targeted the male market with RAW ï¿½Live it Rawï¿½ and made an advert based on a single charismatic street dancer
Kinetic: targeted the female market with Vanity ï¿½Your scent can change but you wonï¿½tï¿½ and made an advert showing ï¿½nerdyï¿½ girl pulling two fit blokes on the dance floor, supported by her scent
Merrill-Reid Social Styles
What we saw was the effects of two team leaders near the extremes of one of Merrill and Reidï¿½s four Social Styles.ï¿½ This model looks at two aspects of personality to classify peopleï¿½s 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.ï¿½ 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.ï¿½ Responsiveness measures the degree to which we let our emotion control our behaviour or to which we control our emotions.ï¿½ At the emoting end of the scale, we value relationships and are seen as open to others and warm in our dealings.ï¿½ At the self control end, people perceive us as cool and serious.ï¿½ Guess where Zara and Harry M sit on these two scales!
The label Merrill and Reid give to a self controlling, telling personality is ï¿½Driverï¿½.ï¿½ These are people who will drive the process in their way.ï¿½ 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.ï¿½ Clearly, Zaraï¿½s team won ï¿½ as they did ï¿½ because she was able to listen more.ï¿½ Her advert and overall concept were better.
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 ï¿½ although not yesterday. As a five times loser, one may be tempted to liken him to Tom Pellereau, but I donï¿½t.ï¿½ He does not have Tomï¿½s sharpness of insight ï¿½ especially into his own shortcomings.
James also survived.ï¿½ His style may be softening a little, but he can still grate.ï¿½ Ultimately, however, he was not culpable this week and does have some sound business sense ï¿½ even if it is a little more Alan Sugar-age 16-down the market than suit and tie business-man.
Gbemi was fired.ï¿½ 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.ï¿½ She did also seem to be struggling with a heavy cold, but weï¿½ve all been there.ï¿½ I think she came across as a genuinely nice person with determination and some talent.ï¿½ 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.ï¿½ I wouldnï¿½t pick him, but then, I am not Lord Sugar: diamond in the rough anyone?