The Apprenctice review: Soft drink campaign hiccups prevail

THE task that all of the candidates secretly look forward to most is a trip overseas.

This week’s challenge was never going to be a holiday, as the teams were asked to create a new brand of soft drink designed for the US market.
The critical aspect of the task was the ability to work together despite being in different time zones. Here is where both teams struggled, as it was as if there were four teams working against each other this week. You have to work together and communicate effectively, remembering that if you win, no-one gets fired, but this week it seemed to be lacking more than normal!
Outside of the teamwork aspect, the task revolved largely around branding. As Lord Sugar said, even the best salesperson can’t sell rubbish, so understanding the market and having a brand that appealed in America was essential. Here we saw the difference between the two teams, and was ultimately where the task was won.
I was really impressed with Summit’s ‘Big Dawg’ energy drink. The team clearly got the need for powerful messaging for the US market, demonstrated through the vibrant colours and slogan, ‘our bark is as strong as our bite’.

This, combined with a good pitch, meant that US buyers could see the product on the shelves. At the other end of the spectrum, Tenacity’s attempt at a fruit drink ended up with bland branding – totally wrong for America!
This week, it was Felipe’s turn to get carried away with artistic vision behind the camera. Both teams made a mess of their TV advert, but it was Felipe’s enthusiasm and desire to defend his advert in the boardroom that I both laughed and cringed at.

He probably should have brought Fat Daddy back for the TV advert – he could have refreshed himself after the workout with Aqua Fusion?! I can hear it now: fat daddy, thin daddy, aqua daddy, fat daddy, thin daddy, aqua daddy!
As usual, there were a number of potential candidates for the boot. Mark for me is still one of the favourites in the process, but as I mentioned last week he should let his talent do the talking and stop looking to catch people out.

Though he was certainly the most composed of the three in the pitch, you could see him pinning the blame on his teammates a mile off, even before the task was over! If he’s not careful, this could be his downfall.
If you had told me Lauren would go a couple of weeks ago, I’d have thought you were mad, as she was one of the frontrunners, excelling as a tour guide in the tour bus task.

However, the last few weeks have seen her contribute little to the team effort, and I felt her exit was inevitable when she lost her way in the pitch. You have to be confident when pitching and full of enthusiasm, but she lacked this, fumbling through her lines. I felt sorry for her, as she is clearly very intelligent and will go on to be successful, but she is not Lord Sugar’s business partner.
The funniest moment for me? Without a doubt has to be Daniel’s branding idea of ‘Love Water’ – maybe he was thinking you could drink this while playing Relationship Guru?!
It was a week in which the girls shone, with Bianca leading her team to victory. However, the real front-runner for the process is Roisin, who again contributed massively to the success of the task. She reminds me of Leah from last year, effectively showing that you don’t have to shout the loudest to be heard, and the rest is history.