Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
Apprentice 3: The Big Picture – The Client is Kingby Andris Pone -- 01/24/2005
View Printable version of this article
Trump called him “a disaster.” Carolyn saw him as “a street performer.” Personally, I would have called him “a clown.” But that’s just splitting hairs, isn’t it?
Of course I refer to Danny, the guitar-toting flake from the highly educated side in this battle of Book Smarts vs. Street Smarts. Laden heavily with lawyers and MBAs, Magna Corporation went down to an eminently foreseeable defeat because they did not take time to understand the motivations and objectives of their corporate client in this case, Burger King.
Burger King had each team choose, promote, and sell, in one of its New York City locations, a new BK product. Both teams chose burgers and named them: book smart Magna the Triple Play and street smart Net Worth the Western Angus Burger.
Pied Piper-like, Danny managed to convince his colleagues that he was the man to run the marketing campaign for the task. But as anyone who watched the broadcast can attest, Danny’s busker-ish promotional efforts were, depending on one’s threshold for embarrassment, somewhere on a continuum from excruciating to hilarious.
In the boardroom, Magna members were quick to blame Danny’s unconventional approach for their defeat. But Trump canned Project Manager Todd for failing to control Danny and also Alex, who had been assigned to manage operations but trained only two team members to work the cash during a lunch rush.
And for all of his foolish antics, I doubt Danny’s marketing campaign had much to do with Magna’s loss. In fact, except for naming the burger and talking it up at the cash register, the team could have done without marketing entirely. Magna might have realized this had they taken a few moments to reflect on what the client, Burger King, hoped to achieve from their involvement with The Apprentice 3.
Consider this: Burger King wanted to look good on TV. They were not about to burden the Apprentice candidates with poorly-performing stores. You could rest assured that when lunchtime came around, each location would be teeming with hungry customers – regardless of the lame promotional push going on outside the store.
Burger King execs would also be sure to provide the Apprentice teams with decent products to choose from – products that had already received the stamp of approval from their highest levels of management. In other words, the Apprentice wannabes would not be forced to sell crappy burgers (crappier than usual, anyway).
What’s it all add up to? Trump executive George was right: success or failure in this task was going to occur at the cash register. There were loads of qualified customers in the store, ready to buy what the teams were selling. It was thus a matter of having enough team members trained on the registers and equipping them with simple sales scripts and loads of enthusiasm to induce trial.
Magna blew it on both counts: Alex trained a pitifully inadequate two team members on cash registers, and those poor folks were too shell-shocked from the high pace and volume of customers to show any enthusiasm or salesmanship.
Corporate participants like Burger King have a lot more to lose than a single job if they present poorly before a captivated TV audience of millions. Apprentice candidates should do this kind of thinking and consider the objectives of their corporate clients before rushing headlong into their tasks.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other Apprentice 3 Episode 1 articles:
Andris Pone is President of Epiphany Marketing Communications, Inc. He has an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, York University. He can be contacted through his website, www.thisiswhatiwant.net.
Be sure to sign up for our e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on the site! And take a look at the rest of the site. You can find all of our recent articles on this show at our The Apprentice page and take a look at our sections on Survivor: All-Stars and Celebrity Mole. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!
For more news about The Apprentice, be sure to check out SirLinksALot!
View Printable version of this article