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The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, Episode 7 MVPs and LVPs, Corner Office and Mailroom Assignmentsby Sandy McFarland -- 11/07/2005
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This week, the teams met with Peter Arnell, a "Branding" guru, as Martha was on her way to a business meeting. The teams had to create a live action mobile billboard for Tide to Go, a new, instant stain-removing pen. Tide would give them access to an art director and illustrator in order to help create a huge billboard that would be mounted on a custom 24-foot truck. The teams were also furnished with a crew to create the truck stage where they would perform a live theatrical event. The team that created the most innovation promotion, causing the most city-wide buzz, would win the task. The losing team would once again meet Martha in the conference room.
This group immediately retreated to their workroom. Though Sarah was Project Manager, Jim hit the ground running by reintroducing the stain removal pen and reminding the group that this pen would remove fresh food and drink stains only. To get the team thinking he asked, "So where do people spill the most food?" Project Manager Sarah disregarded what he said and decided that the team should instead be focused on crowd attraction. Bethenny tried to pick up where Jim left off, by suggesting having coffee carts, with java "to go," but Sarah shot her down too! Obviously, they were not on the same wavelength. Sarah was envisioning constant movement, like (perk) acrobats. Not ready to give in, Jim threw a handful of pens on the table and again reminded them to focus on the product.
Sarah, having misplaced the brains God gave her, retorted that she wasn't concerned with the product at this point. Jim, now about ready to pound his head against the wall, pressed on and insisted that people needed to see this product! He wanted people to start thinking about it and get it exposed. Instead, Sarah decided that Jim should start thinking visually, while Bethenny and Howie could be thinking about Manhattan. (I began to wonder if Sarah ever started to think at all?) She then commanded the team to begin brainstorming silently. Carrie supported Sarah's asinine idea and told us, "Real genius happens with patience and quiet brainstorming. That's when people collectively come to an idea." I can't believe I gave this dimwad a corner office last week!
I guess the team was not allowed to utter their ideas during this multi-hour silent brainstorming session, as we were never privy to them. Finally, when Sarah left the room, Howie and Bethenny took matters into their own hands, which thankfully put an end to the sounds of silence. Armed with Sarah's only vision, they started calling the various street performers, acrobats, and hip hop dancers before taking on their next assignment of running to prop stores to gather what turned out to be silent ideas. But hey, I am getting ahead of myself. Jim asked Sarah if she was aware that they were not showing the product. Yep, she assured him, she was! (Obviously, she has spent little time silently learning anything during the past six tasks!)
At the prop house, Howie immediately found some oversized boxing gloves and told Bethenny they could use 'em to "knock out stains!" As this was the only idea anyone from this team had come up with thus far, he called to run it by Sarah whom ran it by Carrie. Carrie, with a negative head shake, turned her nose up at this idea, which Sarah then nixed to Howie. The team would continue go with the idea of no idea.
Meanwhile, back at the workroom, Carrie counted money and played with the budget, while Sarah chewed her thumb. Jim worked alongside the Tide-provided illustrators and created the graphic design of the team's actual billboard. When the team went to build their stage set, Howie shared his concerns regarding the teams lack of strategy, which Carrie answered with, "You guys have to creatively take what we have and make it work!" She had bigger fish to fry, meaning she couldn't find her blue pen!
Deep into the middle of the night, brilliance finally struck Sarah. She had their theme and shared, "The stick is called 'To Go.' Our billboard is 'on the go.' The purpose of this stick is you can 'go with it!' Upon hearing this, Carrie was giddy with awe! Sarah further explained that the jugglers could juggle it, the dancers could dance with it, so their entire theme would be movement! Next Sarah pranced around the room chanting, "See the 'to go' pen, it goes with you, come on in folks, see the 'to go' pen." I really start to wonder if she has had a recent lobotomy.1 2 Next-->
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