December 1 2005

The Apprentice:Martha Stewart Episode 10

This weeks Martha Stewart Apprentice opened on Jim being…well…Jim. He was explaining to Dawna how he wanted to keep Marcela in the game as he wanted to have weak players at the end. Dawna, on the other hand, wanted to keep the strong players so that she could prove herself. Jim got his wish though when Marcela and Ryan walked back in to the loft. Bethenny seemed a bit over excited to see Marcela walk back in, but it was amusing when she knocked her over.

The next morning, the remaining candidates were to meet Martha at the most famous of her homes, Turkey Hill. Also there were Doug Osterhoff and Margaret Brooks, two GM marketing executives and Renee Mcguire, co-chair of Buick’s dealer marketing advisory board. The three of them were to be the judge’s for the week’s task which was to come up with an in-showroom display campaign for the new Lucerne by Buick. Both teams would get an empty dealership showroom, an office at the McCann-Erickson Advertising Agency, and a $65,000 budget.

At Matchstick, Leslie took the reigns as project manager. They pitched concepts in the van on their way to the office, with Ryan coming up with an idea of creating a dinner table with the car parked next to it. As he explained it, the car was so special it even comes to dinner with you. Marcela liked the idea, but Leslie was unsure. Ryan worried that her stubbornness would jeopardize the team. At Primarius, Dawna became the project manager with Bethenny coming up with the tagline “Driven By Elegance”. The team agreed that it seemed like a good concept.

Ryan took over directing the interactive video portion of their display which would show Lucerne driving up to a resturant and that would be matched to the display in the showroom of the dining table the car would be parked at. However, in the editing bay, Leslie took over the editing and seemed to be going further and further away from the aspects of the video that would tie it into the physical display. She had fallen in love with the tagline the PR firm had come up with of “Those who enjoy the luxury of choice, choose Buick’s Lucerne”. Ryan expressed his concern they were losing focus, but Leslie brushed it off.

At Primarius, Dawna hired a PR firm to help them finish and build their display, but she spent a lot of time trying to stop the fighting between Jim and Bethenny. Even Jim and Bethenny admit they are like a married couple:fight, make-up, fight, make-up and on and on and on.

The next morning both teams ran into problems with getting their displays set-up, but in the end they both finished them up. Primarius presented well, but I personally found the physical display boring, standard and unimaginative. Matchstick…well…it was a good concept, but was poorly executed. Leslie rambled, the video made no sense and the table was badly constructed. So, in case you couldn’t guess, Primarius won.

The surprising thing to me was the Buick executives liked the Primarius display so much that they were going to make it in to a kit and send it out to 2700 dealerships. Why? It’s some rigging with some television screens? Whoop! Oh well, their prize was dinner at The Four Seasons with Charles and Susan Lyne, President and CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Oddly, Jim took this time to talk about what an amazing strategist he is. Moron.

Matchstick prepared for the conference room. Ryen and Marcela talked over laying the blame on Leslie and she was talking with Bethenny about how she would attack Ryan for his poor idea and Marcela for her lack of contribution. In the conference room, Ryan was quick to say he took full responsability for the concept, but not the execution. Matha, Alexis and Charles agreed that basic concept wasn’t that bad. This changed Leslie to a full on assault on Marcela for not contributing to the effort.

When adding up their past records, Martha pointed out that Ryan was 2 – 0 as project manager while the other two were 0 – 2. She told Ryan that he was working with a group of losers. It was fairly obvious that Ryan was safe, but it was going to be a real fight for survival between Marcela and Leslie. Martha said that Marcela lacked backbone, and even hor posture showed that. In the end though, she felt Leslie had more negatives to her and sent her home. Adios.

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