The Apprentice 2, Episode 8: Military... Police?by Mike DeGeorge -- 10/29/2004
We start out at the suite on the night of the previous week's boardroom, as usual, with people wondering who will be fired. Everyone thinks Andy is going. Andy and Wes walk back in, surprising the crew. There are many oohs and ahhs. Maria was blown away and she says that it proves that, "you never know." Andy is all worked up. He feels like the kid in dodgeball that never gets picked. Tomorrow they'll see a different side of him. Go, Andy!
It's the Trump phone! Andy answers! Hey, you gotta start somewhere! Trump will be calling at 8:00, so they have to wait by the Trump-TV. Video conferencing! Trump is on the Trump plane (show off!) on the way to Miss Trump Universe, meeting Trump Bill there. He says it's one of the perks Bill earned by winning last year. As we know, Jennifer is exempt if her team loses.
Donny Deutsch, head of Deutsch Advertising, returns from last year. The task is to create an advertising campaign to recruit people into the New York Police Department, which they will present to Donny and his right hand women. Everyone goes to Deutsch. Donny meets them and lays down the task - they should focus on the emotional part, they want to motivate people to serve for their city. The core is hitting people in the heart. Oh, and don't screw up. Wise words, from an ad guru.
As we know, Andy is Project Manager of Mosaic! They chose at random again. Wow, what luck. He tries to lay out the ad, and Maria keeps interrupting him. She wants sex appeal. Why do you put sex appeal into a recruiting ad? That makes no sense! She says she wants to run the task, but she knows he has a lot to prove.
With Apex at Floyd Bennett Field, Raj is amazed at the array of materials at their disposal - copters, humvees, ammunition out the yin-yang, etc. Elizabeth is Project Manager, she says she needs to come through because she failed the last time she was PM. Chris pitches and ad that says, "you don't need to be at the other side of the world to be on the front line." Elizabeth wants to be more emotional. What a shock! She wants to contrast with something smaller. Kevin says she talks in circles, and the team doesn't know what she wants.
The men want to go militaristic ("it's not a tampon commercial," says Chris. Right now, Betsy is throwing things at her TV). So Elizabeth basically gives in, saying she has to take what they had (the militaristic approach, I assume) and try to sell it. Elizabeth tells the team that they have to start shooting before they have all the shots. The rest of the team looks at her like she grew a second head. She says it should look like a military magazine.
Kevin says they have a limited amount of time, so he's just going to shoot everything he can and hope he gets something good. Raj describes a scene where he dresses up as a terrorist and runs to the compound, screaming war cries the whole way. Chris adds that he should have a "body bomb" on him and the police can shoot him. The rest of the team laugh it off. Elizabeth says it's the rudest thing she ever heard. Okay. I hope that was taken out of context, because that was pretty out of left field.
Mosaic arrives to find Apex already filming. Wes says that it looks like the other team is way ahead. If you only knew, Wes. If you only knew. We get some shots of a helicopter with inspiring music. I bet the Trump copter is more tricked out. The helicopter lands, cops rappel, and one of them kneels down on one knee, gun at the ready, Kevin describes that as the "money shot." I guess Maria is on the wrong team - maybe that's what she means by adding more sex.
As Andy prepares to shoot the specific shots he wants, the weather turns against them. He says that means they have to do them NOW. They take shots of a squad entering a "home" by kicking in the door. They are rushing like mad, but Andy is doing a great job of keeping things going smoothly and keeping things from turning into chaos. The final shot is a close up of a cop making a speech.
The Trump Lesson for the Week! Collect them all! "You have to love it." If you don't love it, you'll never be successful. If Trump sees that they love it, and they have the talent to get it done, they can't stop. What's funny is that this lesson is narrated over the Miss Universe Pageant, and shows Trump admiring the contestants. So will he go after Raj for being a hound this week?
After shooting, Kevin and Elizabeth go back to Deutsch to work on the ads and let the rest of the team go back to the suite and rest. Elizabeth is frustrated because she doesn't like the ad, and "it's stifling her creativity." Oy. She's not willing to go with an idea she doesn't like. Kevin offers to help her out, because he agrees that if the team loses, it doesn't matter if she agreed with it or not, it's going to come down on Elizabeth. Note that Kevin is standing behind Elizabeth 100% here. Kevin comes up with that the narration says that he's tried of the same old thing, with a pictures of the police doing tactical maneuvers. It's less about the militaristic approach and more about getting a cool job. Elizabeth says she is going to have some enemies in the morning. Kevin tells her it's her choice, she's the PM. She says she won't change her mind because she was SO not happy with the original. She is SO toast.
It's locker room mania at the suite! Everyone is in towels! There's your sex, Maria! Kevin is excited about meeting with the designer at 7AM. Man, he stayed up all night and he's out to a meeting at 7! This man is GOOD. Elizabeth goes over the new ad with the team. Chris is pissed, they worked all day putting it together, and now she gives them something new. He says Elizabeth just didn't sound confident in it. Elizabeth tries to defend her new ads, and then says it's just not working. She says they should have just gone with testimonials. Ivana says if they have done that, she would have complained that they should have gone another way. She's a flip-flopper! Elizabeth says that no one would listen to her, especially Raj, so she was "forced" to go another direction again. It's important to note this for later.
Andy narrates his vision to the team, and he seems inspired. He seems to love it, in fact. Hmm. Andy stays behind in the editing room to… um, edit, and George joins him. Maria says they've stripped the sex appeal out. Apparently, the target market of 18-25 can't see past their genitals long enough to think about a career. Yeesh. Maria calls him and tells Andy that they need more sex appeal. He says the sexy part is the breaking the door down. They don't need to show cops with their shirts off straddling a motorcycle. He tells us that people aren't joining the force to get laid, they're doing it out of a sense of pride and honor. He argues his point quite eloquently while Maria pouts. Kelly agrees with Maria against Andy, what a shock. He says that it will come up in the boardroom if they lose. I'm really starting to dislike Kelly - he wants to be in control every second, which is pretty much the opposite of teamwork. Andy shakes his head and says they should try to win with what they have instead of playing strategy.
Elizabeth comes up with some more ideas because she says what they came up with the previous night is not going to fit. Kevin is upset that she's changed her mind AGAIN, after he stayed up late to support her. She tries to explain her ideas, and everyone is confused. He yells at her to tell him what to do. She wishes he would work with her and stop arguing. He wants her to make up her mind.
He tells us they're five hours away from the presentation and they don't have anything, and that the PM, Elizabeth, sucks. Is she not loving it? Elizabeth leaves, and the others are pretty sure they will lose the task and get rid of her. Someone wants to fire her and appoint a new Project Manager. Chris doesn't like the idea that she'll get immunity if they win.
Kevin confronts her to make a decision and stop changing her mind. She tells him she hasn't changed her mind, and he looks like he wants to hit something. He tells her she's about to have a coup on her hands because she can't make a decision. He says she's not doing a good job, flat out. She keeps arguing with him, and he keeps trying to tell her that he's only telling her what the team thinks - her arguments to her are doing no good. He asks if the team knows what she wants to do and she continues to tell him about her idea. This is starting to sound like a political debate. He tells her to shut up already! Whoo! He finally tells her to go and tell him exactly what she wants, and then he'll do it.
He doesn't think he was too harsh - he's an in your face guy, and he hates incompetence. He felt he had to take drastic action. As they walk back to join the others, he snaps, "You'll get no more input from me on this" and walks the other direction. Man, Kevin is ten kinds of awesome this week.
Meanwhile, on the well-led team, Maria won't shut up about the sex appeal. Where's Kevin when you need him? Kelly says he's concerned about Andy, because he could hurt them. No, if you lose, he's gone, stupid. Kelly doesn't want Andy to present, because this isn't a debate. Kelly want to do the pitch, because he's done the "song and dance" a million times. He tells Andy that the debate style will be too in-your-face and over-the-top. Andy says Kelly has done it with the military, not the police force, and he doesn't see the consistency. Sandy, in her sole contribution this week, shies away from the fight. Andy says that if he has to placate Kelly and put him into the presentation to win, he'll do it, but he's not going to sit back and let Kelly take over.
See, I TOLD YOU Andy would show us he deserved to be there!
Back at Apex, they go over the print ads. Kevin thinks it's horrible, and makes it clear that he opposes it. Elizabeth says everyone else was on one side wanting military, she was on the other. She did her best to take what she was given, soften it, and make it less military. Raj is yelling that they don't have time for something, that they should stick with the theme. Elizabeth says it IS part of the theme but Raj is very animated in saying that it isn't.
Carolyn says Elizabeth's unwillingness to be a leader has caused animosity and disorganization. They're all arguing with her about the print ads. They all start to leave, and Elizabeth tells them they can't leave. They leave. Ouch.
Trump lands the Trump plane and gets in the Trump limo. He calls the Trump assistant and tells her to call him on the Trump limo phone when Donny calls. Donny Deutsch introduces his two female managing partners. I realize the irony of having Betsy, who works in advertising, miss this show. Ah well, she'll be taking over my Performance Review column this week, and I'm sure she'll have plenty to say.
Chris says all the cops they spoke to say they're on the front line. They're looking for someone to protect the city as well as the country. Elizabeth introduces the print ads, both focusing on being on the front line. The TV ad emphasizes new threats, shows the generic footage we saw earlier helicopters, police charging down a subway, and the like, and gives the front line catchphrase. Elizabeth says they want to get attention and make people think about action. Donny is wincing throughout.
Andy and Mosaic come in. Andy says he wants to invite the best and brightest to consider a career greater than themselves. Meanwhile, Maria stands around and blinks a lot. They're asking the question, "When was the last time you protected the world's greatest city?" Kelly presents the print ads, which all use the "When was the last time…" slogan. He says the questions reach out to individuals, it asks YOU, not everybody. The TV ad has dramatic music with variations on the question being asked by officers, cut with stock footage. AWESOME. That kicked butt, and didn't need to be sexed up. If I were Maria, I'd feel bad about being wrong all the time. Donny seems to like it. Very seamless, he says.
He sends them out and asks George & Carolyn… no, wait, those are HIS assistants. Man, I hope he was trying to parody the boardroom, because that was pretty identical in feel. They say Apex lacks emotional quality, and it will turn civilians off. Mosaic captured the emotion. It was powerful.
The teams are called back in. Donny gets Trump on the Trump limo phone. Trump asks how they did. Donny says it was a tale of two cities. Apex turned NYC into a police state. You can't do an effective campaign and freak the city out, it wasn't common sense. Mosaic followed direction by hitting the heart, not scaring the people. Mosaic wins in a landslide, it wasn't even close. Andy looks like he is about to faint as his team gathers around him. Apex, in contrast, looks pissed.
For the reward, be ready at 9AM. They'll be taken by limo to a surprise. The city is doing something amazing for them because they did something nice for the city. The losers go to the boardroom.
The next morning, Mosaic are in the limo wondering what their reward will be. Andy is proud of the campaign, because a 22-year old kid led them to victory. You go, Andy! The limo pulls up in Times Square - the commercial is playing on the big screen. Maria says it's very cool that the ad she hated could benefit the NYPD. Even though there's no sex! How could it have been so good without sex?
Elizabeth says everyone is pointing to her, but that's OK because she know what she did on the task. Well, you sucked as a leader, so I doubt I'd go there. Wes tells her that she needs to be as opinionated and honest as possible. Jennifer tells Wes that it's not right that he coach her because he wasn't on the team. He says that all he told her was… well, I can't repeat it, but he told her to stand up for herself. Jennifer makes a very snide comment.
Raj asks what Elizabeth is thinking - she says people should have stepped up and offered to help. Well, Kevin did and he claims you couldn't decide what to have him do! Raj says she will pin the military thing on him, and she says there's no "unclarity" about that. UNCLARITY? Raj says everyone else agreed with it, and no one, least of all Elizabeth, came up with another vision. Ultimately, Trump will make the decision. Well, Trump's one up on you, then.
Not much time for the boardroom this week - it seems pretty obvious who is going, though. Apex comes to the boardroom, and of course Jennifer is exempt. By the way, in my article last week, I short-changed Jennifer by saying she didn't give credit to her team. I wrote that part from memory, and my memory was faulty. Immediately after they were declared the winner, she DID tell her team what a great job they did.
Trump wastes no time asking Elizabeth what went wrong. She says they didn't have a good idea before they started. Trump asks if that was her fault, she says no, it was that they didn't have a specific idea to latch the campaign on. Yes, you did. It just wasn't a good one, and you didn't come up with anything better. He asks her if she is a good leader? She defines leader as someone who sticks by their convictions. She could have gone the easy route and picked a generic campaign that she didn't believe in, and she doesn't do that. She thought she could come up with a better idea, and she swung for the fences.
What the HELL is she talking about? Was the campaign not militaristic? Did the rest of the team want something other than the finished product? I don't get it. Is she saying the final product was her idea? And if "sticking by her convictions" means changing her mind endlessly, I guess she did that, all right.
Trump wants to see the ad. Donny was right - it make it look like the war is going on in New York. Carolyn says it's pretty bad. Trump says it looks like they're in a police state - he wants to go home and lock the door. Wives won't want their husbands to join in, unless they have a bad relationship.
Trump asks if Raj wanted the campaign, and asks if he tried to shove it down Elizabeth's throat. Raj agrees, saying he wanted to go full-tilt on the idea, all the way. Trump loves this, saying that if you believe your idea is good, you should push for it. Besides, he says, there were no other ideas on the table, so he pushed the best idea there was.
Jen defends Raj, she thinks he did a solid job and defended his position well. Chris agrees that he stood up for an idea, whether it was good or bad. Ivana agrees, commending Raj for taking a position, which Elizabeth wasn't willing to do. He asks Ivana if she was weak and ineffective, or just weak. Ivana says both. Ouch. Elizabeth tries to say that she had her position, that the ad was a bad idea. Trump ignores her, and Jen says she was weak and ineffective, indecisive to the point of paralysis. She was terrible, and she struck down every idea they had.
Trump turns to Elizabeth and tells her the others think she's incompetent. He asks Jen if that's too strong, she says no. Elizabeth keeps saying that she didn't like the campaign and tried to come up with something better. Kevin butts in at this point, telling Trump how they stayed up half the night to come up with an idea she liked, only to have her throw it out when the team wasn't behind it. She argues, but pretty much says the same story except that she claims she was "going to go with it anyway," which is complete bull.
Trump stops her there. He says, as a leader, if you think you're right, you have to stand by your decision, no matter what. He doesn't mention it, but as a comparison, look at how Andy steadfastly refused to "sex up" their ads, and ended up with a campaign that Donny went nuts for. Back to the boardroom, Trump says that the whole team thought Elizabeth was terrible, and asks what is missing with her. She has great credentials, but showed no leadership.
He asks who she would bring into the boardroom, and she picks Raj and Chris. Raj I can understand, but why Chris? Makes no sense. There's a long pause. Trump says he doesn't think it's necessary, Elizabeth is fired. I've seen a lot of awesome stuff in this episode tonight, but that was King Awesome. Raj and Elizabeth are shocked. Trump says he doesn't want to waste time, and shoos everyone out of the boardroom. Carolyn looks like she's trying not to bust out laughing. George says the end result would have been the same either way.
Next week: Rob, Jen C., Stacie, and Bradford are back. Why? Who cares! This is gonna be fun!
Elizabeth doesn't know why they ganged up on her. Maybe because you were a terrible leader? She thinks she was an easy target. She stands by her convictions. WHAT convictions! She could not have led a team using a campaign that was absolutely wrong. It was vicious and uncalled for how they ganged up on her. They said some untrue things. Not in the version I saw. This is one seriously deluded woman. Go home.
Mike DeGeorge has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, and has almost ten years of management experience. He is also Associate Editor of RNO. Email Mike at email@example.com.
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