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Margaret Mountford Apprentice Watch Week 5

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Bren View Drop Down
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  Quote Bren Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Margaret Mountford Apprentice Watch Week 5
    Posted: 22 Apr 2009 at 20:47

The Apprentice 2009: Margaret Mountford's Apprentice Watch – Week Five


y Margaret Mountford
Last Updated: 2:22PM BST 22 Apr 2009
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A wake up call: Noorul dressed up as 'Pantsman' Photo: BBC

Philip, it turns out, has an obsession with pants – even when he’s talking about breakfast cereal. This week’s task requires the candidates to come up with a brand name, box design, cartoon character and 30-second TV commercial to advertise a new kind of breakfast cereal for kids. “It’s so natural,” says Philip in Ignite’s branding brainstorm, “you feel naked but with pants.” Mind you, even that’s a step forward from one of his other ideas – the “cereal killer”. Perhaps focusing on mass murder isn’t the best way to sell breakfast cereal to children.

Viewers will, in fact, learn a great deal about the British breakfast cereal market in tonight’s episode. At one end of your supermarket’s cereal aisle, you’ll find oats and muesli for grown-ups in muted packets – with the sugary kids’ cereals all down at the other end in garishly coloured boxes.

gnite get (yet another) valuable lesson in time management when they run out of time and don’t actually visit their graphic designer in person. This despite the fact that the box is perhaps the most important element of the task: after all, it’s what Sir Alan can actually hold in his hand. Ignite end up with a lurid green box, but with virtually no text. And, if you looked at the very small amount of print that there is, you might believe that the recession has shrunk the Government’s healthy-eating recommendation to “three a day”.

Meanwhile I watch Empire, under Kate’s leadership, do some rather good work – at first. After last week’s task, Ben has been painted as the candidate that everyone loves to hate, but tonight we see another, more creative side to him. Yes, he’s still arrogant, but he contributes eagerly to their brainstorm. And he agrees to dress up in a parrot suit – a sort of Irish Norwegian Blue – for the commercial. (During filming, there was a marvellous moment when a passing child looked at him and said: “Hello birdy!”) Maybe all this hatred against Ben should be transferred to another candidate – though I couldn’t possibly say who.

And, while Empire get their box designed on time, they run into problems with their commercial: it takes Kate only a few seconds to throw out the vocals on which James and Yasmina have been working all day. And, if you’re going to hire a child actor to eat breakfast cereal in a TV ad, it’s helpful to check whether he has a nut allergy…

Over at Ignite, Philip and Lorraine rub each other up the wrong way, with Philip doing his usual trick of throwing a tantrum if his idea isn’t instantly accepted by the group – it would be a strong team leader indeed who would shout Philip down. He’ll go far, that boy – I’m just not sure in which direction.

One thing you can say for Lorraine is that her opinions are often right. But she hasn’t yet learned the trick of shutting up when it’s too late for things to be changed – which can understandably get on her team-mates’ nerves. Team leader Kimberly, a marketing consultant, says at the start of the episode that this is the task she’s been waiting for. Yet she then also says she’s not creative and that she won’t do presentations. All of which begs the question: what does she do?

Mind you, this is in my opinion a very difficult task. It’s much harder to convince the professionals at advertising agency McCann Erickson that your commercial is any good than it is to sell bars of soap on the street. Especially if you’re Ignite’s Mona, who has to learn that the object of a presentation is neither to make your audience cringe nor to state the bleeding obvious (“the box is green”). Fortunately for viewers at home, they will have to watch only a small portion of what we in the presentation room were subjected to.

Tonight’s episode, by the way, contains my favourite moment of the series so far. Poor Noorul, all dressed up in Ignite’s superhero costume, ends up sitting on a table in the garage of a suburban house waiting for the filming of their commercial to start – with his little matchstick legs swinging disconsolately underneath. Perhaps he thought the whole thing was a bit pants.



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  Quote Bren Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2009 at 20:47

Tonight’s episode, by the way, contains my favourite moment of the series so far. Poor Noorul, all dressed up in Ignite’s superhero costume, ends up sitting on a table in the garage of a suburban house waiting for the filming of their commercial to start – with his little matchstick legs swinging disconsolately underneath. Perhaps he thought the whole thing was a bit pants.


Can't wait to see this

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  Quote Thess Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Apr 2009 at 15:09
Some wonderful comments from Margaret - especially the bit about Phillip going far ....
Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Apr 2009 at 15:48
I read this article after the show last night .... brilliant (Margaret's article, that is). She sums it up so well.

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  Quote Jonnyboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Apr 2009 at 16:04
Originally posted by Bren

Tonight’s episode, by the way, contains my favourite moment of the series so far. Poor Noorul, all dressed up in Ignite’s superhero costume, ends up sitting on a table in the garage of a suburban house waiting for the filming of their commercial to start – with his little matchstick legs swinging disconsolately underneath. Perhaps he thought the whole thing was a bit pants.


Can't wait to see this



I had a real belly laugh at that shot
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