Monday, 19 October 2015

Cactus vs Them

Ten things about… Week 2 - Cactus shampoo

  1. She’s in fashion - It’s always amusing to see the Apprenti in mufti but GOOD LORD, these lot have some howlers going on. This week ends with Elle in an animal onsie and Brett in a sleeveless abomination, but it began with Natalie answering the phone in an HONEST TO GOODNESS Blink 182 hoodie.This is waay beyond anyone answering the phone in their pants.  The phone call comes at what is a common Apprentice hour of 5.20am. Why does everyone have to start so early? Are they on those weird kind of Men in Black days that go on forever? Is Lordsirsugar an insomniac? The trip to The Barbican prompts Sam to think that maybe they’re getting to write a play and sell tickets for it. Oh Sam, don’t you know where you are? [That would be an AMAZING task - Rad]
  1. Know your market - Sam doesn’t have a clue about the show he’s in, but some people do. Elle is one of my current favourite girls by virtue of her being so genre savvy, right down to a “not here to make friends” speech. At one point she explains something to Aisha by saying that she’s not trying to throw her under a bus. Aisha doesn’t need bussing explained to her. She does a magnificent job of grabbing on to handfuls of her colleagues as she realises that her demise is inevitable. Despite spending the whole episode actively shushing her colleagues and making Executive Decisions, she blames her colleagues for the failure of the task. Apparently, it’s everyone else's fault for not bringing ideas to the table when the record shows they clearly all did. She even manages to place the blame of her not putting a cactus on the bottle by suggesting it’s because nobody could come up with anything better than a cactus flower. URR, A CACTUS?  And anyway, it’s all Vana’s fault for suggesting that they aim the market at older people.
  2. Help the aged -  Vana suggests that they market their shampoo to the older generation as it’s a growing market that doesn’t get catered to much. For me, I think that to align women of a certain age to something that represents dryness and arid landscapes has the potential to be a bit insulting but they run with it. This leaves several of the women confused as to what attracts an older market. Here are a few of the suggestions:
    1. According to Selina, anyone with a blow dry that looks over 35 must be an affluent career woman.
    2. Women in their 40s need to be represented by 20 year old models
    3. Older women are scared of new things
    4. Apparently there’s never ever been an advert where a mother discusses beauty tips with their daughter
    5. Suggestions that mothers give slightly incesty massages are FINE, although...
    6. Older women aren’t sexy.
  3. Never cross a hairdresser - I know I’ve been talking mostly about the girls in this recap but there’s not a lot of mileage in the boys coming in, fulfilling the brief really well and then going off to do some kind of sexy yoga in their jogging bottoms. *crosses self*. Charleine seemed like she would have been a natural to win this task. She put herself forward for project manager as she’s someone who is a hairdresser who wants to launch their own shampoo line. She let her disappointment at every decision be known at every juncture, so much that “RICHER THAN ARGAN OIL” became her catchphrase as she tried to get everyone on board to her message, including the model from the advert who clearly didn’t have a single fuck to give as long as she was paid a agency minimum.
  4. Never cross a Blink 182 fan - It was hard to ascertain who did the worst “Speak N Spell” pitch. Was it Scott or Natalie who sounded most like someone bottom of the primary two class? It didn’t matter in the end because even though Scott’s brain basically stalled, the boys won so it was a moot point. Natalie, however, was dragged into the boardroom for her crimes against BZNZ. She blamed the product which by then was an easy target after it having been dragged through the mud by all and sundry but LORDSIRSUGAR wasn’t impressed by this as he’s had to stand by some of the absolute BOLLOCKS he’s sold over the years and so should Natalie.
  5. Confidence is competence - there’s no denying that the boys smashed this one, not using any special skill, nor by being able to spell ‘cactus’. They just did what they were told and did it with the minimum of fuss. Much was made over Richard’s project management style, which I’m sure is from a Linkedin article called “Spread The Blame”. What he did, by his own admission, was collect up all the ideas and funnel them toward his vision. This was a risky strategy because as long as he was any cop it was a golden one, but as soon as he put a foot wrong he was ripe for the chop. It worked and I think I can honestly say it was the first product I’ve seen on this shitstorm that I could see myself buying.
  6. Valente-ines day - It’s rare that I choose my most love to hate Apprenti by the second date but Joseph Valente is particularly special to me in the throwing things at the telly stakes. I don’t know whether it’s his stupid hair or his pathetic attempt at a moustache and the way he strokes it when he’s pretending to think. I don’t know whether it was his complete inability to do what he was told in the brief, taking the concept of a billboard of a man washing sand out of his hair and turning it into a man in the shower. I think the moment that cemented it for me was when he suggested that the concept of the shampoo could either be something wet or something dry. You can’t pay for that kind of marketing savvy. That’s ingrained. Scott is definitely the fittest though. These things matter.
  7. Shout it from the Ruth-Tops - The flip side to this is that Ruth is probably my favourite. She’s good at rotating like a kebab and pretending to shush people. She wears excellent suits and she visibly shows her frustration to camera. She played the older woman in the billboard and sacked the teenage models like an absolute PRO and she’s basically the best at everything wrapped up in an excellently bonkers suit.
  8. Quotes of the week - “there’s no pecking order because I’m at the top”
“Manly Moist!”
“Director is not a part I’ve played within the film industry”
“Don’t look at the camera you helmet”
“the older woman doesn’t see herself as an older woman”
“rejuvenating shampoo with cactus seed is a very strong statement”
“on the way to the studio we had a great idea. basically, pour a watering can over the guy’s head while he was rubbing shampoo over his hair. the guy was standing in a bucket in his pants rubbing shampoo in his hair and we was all buzzing off it”
“it can’t go that wrong”
“Act like you’ve got dry hair”
“I can’t accept a cactus getting lost on this”
“the aim of the billboard is to stop people”
“sometimes, people go to the desert to find themselves, like Lawrence of Arabia or Arabian Nights”
“I was so passionate on the cactus”

     10. I’m going to miss Aisha - Aisha was perfect recapping fodder. From her wandering accent, to her insistence that her marketing nous far outweighed Charleine’s hairdressing expertise. From her demanding that Natalie didn’t touch her to her absolute insistence that everything hinged on Vana’s suggestion to market to the over 50s and not her terrible, terrible decisions. Aisha, you were perfect fodder for this and the show will be poorer for your absence.

Join Steven next week to see what he’s learned from Week Three.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We have a secret.
From the desert.
*longer pause*
It's a desert secret.
*even longer pause*
This is desert secret.
*people listening look noticeably uncomfortable*