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The Apprentice 2, Episode 12: On the EdgePage 2
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There has been a bit of debate among the RNO writers about whether or not the collect a continent idea was a good one. Many have argued that it was too complicated. Much easier to just collect letters to spell out P-E-P-S-I or even E-U-R-O-P-E, or similar. Some continents have quite a lot of countries that you’d have to collect, whereas others would have comparatively few. And there are some countries that could be considered part of either one of two continents. As far as I’m concerned, those are just details, and Pepsi could make this idea work. I think the “best of both worlds” tagline is a good one, and I like the way Sandy has tied it in with going to the edges of the earth. The details of how exactly it would work could be simplified later – maybe you wouldn’t have to collect every little country in Europe, but would try to collect maybe five countries in western Europe for a western Europe trip… something like that. In general, I think the idea was fun and dynamic, and with the right marketing (say having consumers download a map from the Pepsi web site or including one in the Sunday newspaper inserts like McDonald’s does with their Monopoly board), they could make it work.
Apex is brainstorming also, but their storm is more like a trickle. Ivana suggests having the bottles shaped like an Oscar, and says that lots of women and gay men love the Academy Awards. Kelly shuts that idea down pretty much right away as impractical and not clearly related to the product. He comes up with the idea of having the bottle spell out the word Edge, including putting a hole through the letter D. They could even stick things through the hole in the D. Ivana chimes in with some rather weird suggestions about what they could put there, including a hot dog at a sporting event, a small woman with a gold-capped tooth, or “a piece of a boob.” What? I guess this really shouldn’t surprise me, considering that this is the same woman who suggested a junior drag queen dress-up kit as a potential product for Mattel to market to young boys. Kelly says that Ivana has a tendency to throw out lots of strange sexual connotations. I look forward to reading with Mike DeGeorge has to say about Ivana’s “ideas” in his next Performance Appraisal article. I have a feeling he’s not going to be impressed.
At Mosaic, Sandy suggests that they make the bottle totally round, like a globe. It would be the first round Pepsi bottle ever! The designer doesn’t look too impressed with the idea. For one thing, it would be hard to, you know, hold the bottle in your hand and drink from it. Jen comes up with an alternative, which is that the top and bottom of the bottle would be rounded, with a band in the center with the Pepsi logo. That makes much more sense, and the designer is all for it. Sandy is frustrated. She feels like no one is hearing her ideas and that she’s being underutilized. Ah, that’s not quite it, Sandy. They heard your ideas, they listened to them, and they determined that they weren’t good.
Meanwhile, Kelly explains to a designer how he wants a hole through his bottle. The designer isn’t sure if they can pull it off, but Kelly insists they try it. They watch the bottle being made, and Kelly says it’s cool to see his idea coming to life. The team heads home for the day, since their work there is done. Ivana says she feels uneasy with the fact that they aren’t all frantic and crazy and thinks they might be missing something. Kelly and Kevin don’t have much patience for her vague worry and ask what she thinks they might be forgetting. She’s got nothing to say. Her attitude irritates me. Don’t try to work your team into a state of worry for no good reason. That demoralizes everyone. And isn’t it possible that your team isn’t in a state of frantic activity because you’re doing a good job?
At Mosaic, Andy is concerned about meeting their deadlines for designing the bottle and label. He gives each member of the design team a hundred dollar bonus for their hard work as Carolyn looks on curiously. Sandy thinks it was an odd thing to do and came across as sleazy. Andy disagrees, since everybody loves money. Then, Sandy suggests they bring in dinner for everyone, and Andy says no. He won’t let her bring the pizzas into the room until the project is complete. The pizzas are actually sitting out in the hallway, getting cold, while everyone works. Sandy says that everyone would feel a lot better and be more productive if they had some dinner, and Andy counters that they should be feeling pretty darned good with a hundred bucks in their hands. Sandy says that Andy is acting like a slave driver.
In my opinion (and I seem to have a lot of them this week), Andy made a bad choice here. He handed everyone money, which, of course, would be a great motivator. But if it’s late, and you’re cranky and hungry, having a couple of slices of pizza would also be a morale boost. It also would have cost a hell of a lot less money. Plus, actually telling this room full of people that they can’t have dinner yet would undoubtedly lead to resentment, especially if they can smell the pizza just out of their grasp.
The next morning, Apex checks out their new bottle. Kelly loves the hole in the D, and Kevin and Ivana are thrilled, too. Ivana says it’s beautiful. Meanwhile, Andy says that he really wants to beat Kelly to put a hole in his giant ego. He and Sandy have a huge map of the world that they’ll be using in their presentation. Apex is preparing, too. Ivana, Kevin, and Kelly pace around the room, muttering their parts of the presentation to themselves. All of them are psyched about presenting their ideas.
Apex walks into what they thought would be a typical conference room to make their presentation and are very surprised to see that it’s a huge auditorium, full of Pepsi marketing people. Ivana feels like she’s in the amphitheatre in Gladiator. Dave, the chief marketing officer for Pepsi, closes the blinds and instructs them to begin. Kelly, Kevin, and Ivana make a confident, upbeat, and enthusiastic presentation. And, happily, Kevin’s flop sweat from the Levi’s presentation has apparently disappeared. The three of them show off their bottle design and talk about how they can put different promotional materials through the hole. They emphasize that the design is a versatile – they can use the hole for any number of different things (though “a piece of a boob” is not specifically mentioned). The design, they say, will work over the long term. The people in the room seem to be responding well to their ideas, and Apex walks out feeling confident.<--Previous 1 2 3 4 Next-->
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