Week 7 It’s early but for once it’s not a bloke in his pants to start the show as Sugar summons the candidates to Dunton Technical Centre in Essex. Anisa wants a creative task so she can put herself forward. “Oh My Gawd!” gasps Liz as they troop past flashy cars in Ford’s Creative Design hub. They have to create a TV ad and digital screens to advertise a new car and pitch to top execs.

The teams are duly juggled with Sarah going to Vitality with Michaela, Anisa, Andrew, Jade and erm Charles.  Anisa who works in PR duly puts herself forward “My knowledge of cars isn’t amazing but I have marketing experience”. Michaela has no marketing experience but she “loves cars”. They pick her to Anisa (and Claude’s) befuddlement. Anisa leads the sum team on branding. Andrew wants to direct the TV ad but Michaela baggsies that for herself and Jade then throws Andrew a bone of assisting them as he’s so “super enthusiastic”. Patronising cow.

Over on Graphene and James is happy to lead the team comprising Liz, Sajan, Bushra and Jo; and nobody else volunteers (“OK I’m PM er brilliant”). He’ll be ok – he once ran a hand carwash. It’s all about picking markets. Jo thinks it should be aimed at under 25s. Bushra thinks it’s a family car and James backs her. Jo looks sad.

Liz (who keeps taking her specs off this week – and reminds me of Benedict Cumberbatch without them) uses Jedi mind skills to control James (“I suggest a woman on the TV ad side” [Points at self]. James “OK Liz you do the ad”).

Jo suggests calling the car Expando which sounds like a pervy superhero. Bushra wants to go for Plus, but Jo’s determined to be heard on this one and James says sod all.

Michaela is thinking “Marbella” (“If you had this car could head for these places” Classy!). Andrew upgrades her to “Miami”. They work on concepts for the advert with the women constantly overruling poor Andrew cos he doesn’t understand the target audience (young women)  like what they do. He chips in ignored suggestions whilst Jade and Michaela witter on (“And then she says OH MY GOD!” etc).  “She could even use assisted parking whilst putting on her lipstick!” Andrew interjects excitedly. Everyone rightly ignores him.

They communicate with the subteam and Anisa’s worried about the name being too literal. “THE NAME IS MIAMI” insists Michaela. At least Anisa tries to run with this by brainstorming solo in front of the world’s biggest whiteboard until it ends up looking like a Sheldon Cooper equation. “Erm don’t we just need to focus on the car and brand” Sarah suggests gently, but Anisa is off. The strapline “Move fast and free” is chosen. Sarah’s concerns about speed regulations, but Andrew insists “We’ll make it work”.

Liz is all for the humour angle “Mum runs out of house and things are going wrong then she gets to the car and it all works but she leaves her handbag on the roof and… DRIVES OFF…. IT’S FUNNY!”. (I actually think this was done in the 1980s but whatever). Liz then volunteers to act in the ad (“I break female modes. I’m tall… I’m quirky”) and does more Jedi mind control so James says OK. Bizarrely she selects the advert location as a “Norman Village”. Karren helpfully explains that none of the candidates know how long ago Norman times actually were.

Jo takes control of the digital screen display with her and Harrison posing in front of huge building blocks against a green background. Bushra is (like myself) confused. This upsets Jo.

Back in Essex and the car arrives at the Norman village. Maybe it’s the steaming cauldron and wattle and daub huts, or the turkeys, chickens and ducks shitting all over the place or maybe it’s the gently swaying waxwork hanged corpse, but Elizabeth smells a fish (“I don’t think this is an English village. I think it’s a… pretend village”).  “We need to see what we’re dealing with first” insists James. Somehow rather than Google a nearby real village (are they banned from doing this?) they try to roll with it (Liz “How about ‘Conquer life?’”) . They finally call the sub team who inform them that the brand name is Expando. Rather than impose his will James just mildly reminds them they need to stay in line with the advert. But they’re off on one. Bushra suggests a tag line “Different day: Same reliable car”. Harrison’s not sure it all fits with a potential medieval theme (“They didn’t make cars then did they?”). BUT NOBODY HEARS THE WARNING BELLS.

Michaela and Jade treat Andrew as a piece of meat whilst they witter on during advert production complete with drone camera filming. He’s clearly torn between wanting to be a STAR DARLING and feeling a tad sidelined. “I think we have enough footage to drag it out to 20sec” Michaela decides.

Sajan on the other team however is an ARTISTE. He’s gone all Ed Wood, taking lots of shots “One from here and another from there” (NOT as many as I need from here then move – ….IDIOT!). “The mise en scene is perfect!” He yells. “Scene 26! Take 2”. As a Film studies Post Graduate with extensive experience of hanging out with film ponces I was laughing my tits off.

In EXPANDO land Jo’s arguing about fonts when the main issue is her posters don’t show very much of the fucking car (and they don’t have any medieval imagery obviously). “I’m happy and proud” says Jo.

I like how Anisa has pissed off the Lycra brigade with her digital display showing a bike in the rain (“Looking to escape normality?”) before switching to an image of a car in the sun (“Welcome to Miami”). Yeah FUCK the planet. Also maybe stating that it is a car might have been helpful. Michaela likes it though (“It’s dead gorge… I like the colour scheme”).

Liz looks worried when Jo shows off her building block display. BUT NOBODY SAYS A WORD.

Sarah and Anisa worry that Michaela’s “Ooh me nerves” (A genuine Northern woman condition along with hormones and bowels) mean she will be shit at pitching. They pluck up the courage to call her. This does not go well and Michaela is 100% pitching.

Liz “assists” at the editing of Sajan’s vision with extra suggestions on music (“It goes “bum de dum dodododo…  like that .. and cut to booom boom boom der bumm bum”). James says sod all. She then insists she does the voice over and Sajan’s hackles rise (“You’re in it quite a lot”) and he insists James makes a call. So James goes with Sajan as he’s making the most noise at that point in time. “I will let it go” proclaims Liz. “But I feel you’re making a mistake”. My how very big of her.

Feedback from commuters viewing the digital display for Harrison is that nobody remembers the actual car but the name sticks out cos it’s fucking mental.

Nobody notices the Miami displays either or if they do they think it’s an advert for car rental in Miami. Hmm.

It’s time to pitch to car manufacturers, a journo and some advertisers . In a fun twist the none pitching part of the team watch it all via a video link and shout abuse.

James introduces Expando as addressing the needs of the modern family. Bushra tries desperately to tie in the car as an “extension of home” and Jo talks some utter shite on “expanding on capabilities” for which I would fire her pre-boardroom. It doesn’t help when the advert shows Liz doughtily chasing chickens through a Norman village. James tries to find a bright side (“Liz is 6ft2 which shows there’s a lot of space in the car”), but it’s clear there’s no connection between the two sides of the campaign (Liz (sneakily “It’s up to Bushra to answer this”. Bushra [Death Stare]). All the advertisers think the name is shit. Nobody argues. It’s true…

It’s literally pants.

expando-brif_list1

Michaela does hacky looks and hesitates before launching into a decent pitch. Oh look at her. She’s SO BRAVE. Hardly a fricking wallflower is she? Their ad is bland and functional. Nobody mentions my concern in that aiming it at young free and single women with a male voiceover is still somewhat missing the point.

Anisa takes on the next bit. Jade’s watching through the live feed (“Calm the hands”) and starts waffling. Fortunately she passes to Sarah who gets the brand message across “Move forward fast and free”. YOU CAN’T SAY FAST chorus the panel. Oh god Anisa’s still talking “Oh yeah we thought we got away with that (giggle)”

“Was there concern that the display reminded people of holidays?” asks one panel “Oh YES I’m so glad you brought that up!” GUSHES Anisa as Michaela’s face freezes whilst she contemplates gagging her. The rest of the team watching on the link scream in horror as Anisa continues to gleefully tell the panel how right they are to point out how shit the team has been. It’s a lovely moment.

Back in the boardroom and Michaela insists that Andrew was included in the advert so that the male audience wasn’t excluded then says something about him looking pretty. Lovely. The advert is boring but functional. Sugar likes the drums.

It’s Graphene’s turn and Vitality collectively piss themselves as Liz admits they accidentally ended up filming at a re-enactment Norman fort. For all Sajan’s Mise en Sine it’s a bit of sub Mike Leigh bollocks complete with Liz clomping about shooing chickens before apparently getting ready to mow them down. Harrison admits there is no correlation between the ad and the digital board but flails at the concept “different day same reliable car”. That doesn’t work for Sugar (“You’re trying to flog a NEW car”).

Unsurprisingly Vitality win although they weren’t great as they had some semblance of cohesion between the two sides of the campaign. They’re sent to slide down a huge tunnel. Insert your own joke. James looks sad. He really wanted to go on that slide.

Instead it’s the sad café and Bushra’s pulling no punches (“Have you see an ad like that before?”) whereas Jo “can smell Elizabeth all over this”).

Back in and Sugar helpfully informs them that both the advert and the digital poster were shit.

“I’m not good at the creative side” James whines, blaming Jo’s sub-team for the name. Bushra bitches about Jo undermining her suggestion of Plus. Like that would have helped.

Sajan insists he had to make sure the camera angles were focusing on the car for the 20 minute dolly shot.

Liz insists it “wasn’t the Elizabeth show” (it was) and “If I was too strong I’ll reign it back” (oh don’t!).

Sugar describes James’s management technique as someone letting a cabby drive the wrong way whilst saying nothing. Which sounds a tad sinister.

Poor James is so Liz whipped he offers to bring back Jo and Sajan. Somehow Bushra and Harrison magically escape like some sort of corporate ninjas whilst Liz sits there gobsmacked she’s got off so lightly until Sugar takes the law into his own hand cos he can and insists Liz comes back too. That’ll teach you for lingering Liz.

Back in and Sugar asks “Are you a control freak Liz?” “NO” she bellows. Jo bitches none stop and I’m convinced she will talk her way into getting fired. However Sajan makes a classic mistake of taking himself too seriously (“Liz was making my job harder as a Director –I have a PHOTOBOOTH business and I understand creativity”). Sugar does a double take (“There’s no creativity in that!” Sajan “There IS” It’s the magic pixies drawing all those faces).

James is equally wanky (“I took a risk and let people be inspired to do something creative”). Oh FFS.

Jo shouts over Liz. “Would you like me to speak or would you like to?” Liz offers. “I’ll go” chips in Jo. Oh love calm down.

Jo’s defence is “I’ve done a lot of DOING”. So ner.

James insists he earns 200k a year. “What do you need my £250k for?” Sugar asks. James insists he’s not a fibber just fucking amazing and with a 600foot penis. Plus he does numbers and can do anything Sugar wants him to if the mutha will just smell his cheese.

Sajan now has switched to acknowledging he has made and learned from errors on the creative side (that was quick) and HE IS SUGAR’S BUSINESS PARTNER (attempt Jedi mind trick).

Jo goes SHOUT SHOUT SHOUT SHOUT and I can’t be bothered to write it down. I wish she was less shouty.

It’s time for Sugar to pretend to deliberate, so he sees Liz as a control freak, Jo as confrontational, James as weak. And then he sacks Sajan. Which makes me sad. Still when he wins the Palm D’Or next year Sugar will be doing the Face Palm D’oh.

Sajan is gutted in the taxi of doom. I’m sad too. Back at the house Liz looks rattled and Jo looks ANGRY.

Next week. Fuck the candidates. There’s cute dogs. AWWWWWWW!

FLAWED HEROINE: Elizabeth

LIKING:  James, Sarah, Harrison, Andrew

ADORABLE BUT SCATTY AS: Anisa

MUST HAVE A WORLD DOMINATION BUSINESS PLAN: Charles

I Do NOT LIKE: Jade, Michaela, Joanna, Bushra

BYE BYE: Danny, Jeff, Elliot, Siobhan, Ross, Sarah Jayne, Sajan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements