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The apprentice 2012 episode 9 bum note branding

I watched Episode 9 of The Apprentice last night (Sorry, I know that’s almost a week ago but Sky+ gets the better of me from time to time).

Despite the time lapse I felt it was essential to post something because there were some very relevant mistakes in last night’s show.

This week the teams were challenged to create a multi-media brand awreness and marketing campaign to promote English Sparkling Wine as a preferred alternative to Champagne. At the end of it all they needed to have created a website and promotional video.

Team leader Tom gets a note of vanilla or something



Both teams did an awful job but Sterling were judged to have lost. Sterling consisted of team leader Ricky Martin (always makes me laugh – immature I know), Jenna, Gabrielle and Stephen. In my opinion they deserved to lose because they got the branding completely wrong. On a visit to a vineyard to  better understand what makes the wine so special (a smart move), they learned that English sparkling wine was a sophisticated, multi-award winning wine, all about quality, quality and quality.

So… Challenged with promoting English sparkling wine over its better known French alternative, they chose to name it after a French word, ‘Grandeur’. Surely a red card offence in itself?

And in an effort to communicate quality, quality, quality – they decided to record a very cheesy video in a bid to be funny. Where’s the quality in that? And the main message in the video?… Labeling Champagne as ‘disgusting’, which of course, it isn’t. It was embarrassing. One comment came from the panel of industry experts who said ‘Tell me, do you think you could find a Champagne company producing anything like that?’.

It’s ok, in fact it’s sometimes a very good idea, to try something different and ignore the industry norms – but not at the expense of your core message. If your message is quality and class, your video needs to be about quality and class… Not a cheesy joke. The same applies to your business and everything you do, say, and communicate via your marketing. Are you promoting a quality product with marketing that’s a bit of a joke?

On a sidenote, Gabrielle’s logo design was well received – a rose that formed a champagne glass. Although, I would’ve just gone with a more refined rose. Sometimes people try to overcomplicate the message – simple designs often communicate the message better.

One Response to The apprentice 2012 episode 9 bum note branding

  1. Vicky Jarman May 21, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    Couldn’t agree with you more. Found myself shouting at the screen for most of it. Grandeur really was the beginning of the end for the team… combined with really not ‘getting’ the message they needed to portray along with poor execution – they didn’t stand a chance. The biggest crime of it all though was Steven’s extension in the competition, he uses deferrals every step of the way and I can’t say I’ve seen him do one thing well. Hopefully as team leader he’ll finally show his true colours.

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