The Apprentice Week 5 – Double Jeopardy

The Apprentice Week 5 – Double Jeopardy 

A double firing this week with 2 candidates leaving The Apprentice. Yet again, the leadership of the teams came under scrutiny, as well as the tactics used to progress in the competition. 

This week’s task involved creating a new brand of pet food and a TV commercial to promote it. Each team had to present their campaign and advert to a panel of leading advertising executives.

 Once again, the two Project Managers / Team Leaders were appointed by Lord Sugar. Vincent led Team Logic, and Glen took the helm of Team Venture. It seemed that Lord Sugar wanted to test the mettle of the lads, Two of whom, Vincent and Tom, had lost all 4 of the previous tasks. This point was to be borne out later in the boardroom.

 The 2 teams were targeting different pet markets. Vincent’s team went to the dogs, and Glen’s team were more catty in nature. Immediately, the pattern was set for what would be the inevitable outcome:

In Team Logic, Tom was a lone voice concerned that the brand “Every-dog” was not niche enough.

 In Team Venture, Glen upset his sub-team by completely disregarding the feedback from their focus group research and going with Cat Size ( a play on cats eyes) and targeting the “healthy” eating part of the cat food market. Leon in particular was unhappy here. It was also noted that Vincent was leaning on Jim a lot, according to Nick. And so Team Venture became increasingly dysfunctional. This all came to a head when Leon put together a poor presentation (?deliberately), despite having 5 hours to prepare. It didn’t look good for Glen.

 Increasingly, Jim looked to be the leader of Team Logic, with Vincent melting into the background. Logic’s pitch was a polished display by Melody. Things were looking good for Logic.

 So, to the boardroom and the opinion of the experts was that Venture had identified a unique selling point (USP,) but put together a poor advert. Logic had poor marketing, but a good advert. In the end it came down to Lord Sugar, who decided that “The Every-dog name is wrong” . This meant Tom and Vince were on the losing team for 5 weeks in a row. Had Venture lost, it is difficult to see how Glen could have survived, but they didn’t lose and neither did he.

 Tom was immediately vindicated by LS for challenging the branding, but Jim was targeted for having taken responsibility for the name “Every-dog. The mood in the boardroom suggested that Jim was looking weak, but, amazingly Vincent decided NOT to bring him back, but went for Natasha and Ellie (who was anonymous for the second task running) instead. This proved to be a tactical error. Firstly, Natasha had directed the successful ad and was prepared to fight her corner. However, it looked like Vincent had miraculously survived when LS elected to fire Ellie, only to be fired himself as a warning to the rest of the candidates. His loyalty to Jim, described as a “bromance” cost him dear. If Jim had come into the boardroom it is likely that Vincent would have survived. As it is, Vincent has gone and Jim’s card is now marked by LS. Woe betide him if he loses another task.

 So, the poor leadership of Glen survives because his team won the task, But Vincent paid the price of misplaced loyalty. In the end, there are no friends in this process, just a common need to be successful in the task.

 Natasha has emerged as the new favourite. Jim could now be a dead man walking.

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