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I finally watched episode three of the Apprentice last night.  I think Magna has a problem.  They’re down three to Net Worth’s one.  Obviously it was disappointing to see Verna bail out, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.  And as one of her Magna team mates pointed out, it was better not to have someone there who didn’t have the fire in the belly.

I sympathize the most with Danny.  I watched him agonize through the broken promotional ideas his team was coming up with. Frankly, most of them sucked.  But that’s how creative is. You keep holding out until lightning strikes.  He failed on a couple of counts, in my opinion:

  1. The cost of the event planner was really high.  Stephanie pushed him really hard on the event planner.   He could have pushed back and negotiated a lower price.  That would have left him more money to execute other aspects of the promotion.
  2. The iPOD concept was never fully developed that I could see.  It was cool to give away iPODS, but why were they doing it?  If the goal was to create an association with coffee / coffee culture and music, it didn’t work.  The idea needed more glue to reinforce the Nestle brand.

Janice was critical of Net Worth’s Uncle Sam theme, and the cold coffee / hot coffee debate.  However, it is true that when you can can’t think of anything else, especially in the US market, a little bit of jingoism can go a long way.  You also have to remember that at the time this episode was filmed, the US would have been in the middle of the last election, which would have made the Net Worth theme very timely.

What I didn’t like about this episode was the subjective nature.  The Nestle folks called the winner.  Period.   In the real world, a properly designed promotion would have had measurable success metrics associated with it.   It looked to me like there might have been larger crowds at the Magna event than the Net Worth event, for instance.  How did we really know the outcome was fair?

Of course, this is reality TV, and not reality.

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