Sunday, December 9, 2012

Lizard king or Très chic?

Week 6: This week Lord Sugar asked the teams to create a hair product, brand it, create a TV ad and pitch it to the industry’s top executives. Did you know that hair products are a 2 million pound a year business?! This week Andrew and Maria could not escape it any longer and were appointed project managers, time to put their money where their mouth is! Andrew leading Odessey, was struggling from the get go. No creative ideas were put forward and so much time was wasted during the early stages that later, at the crucial stages of the process they had to make rash decisions and almost missed their deadline. They decided to aim for the men market creating hair gel, they started throwing names out there and came up with chameleon as their top priority. They met up with a focus group which was a boy’s band, the members of the band disliked all the names except chameleon. Coming back to join the rest of the team, it was pointed out many times over that there is a contradiction here- They wanted their brand to stand out from the rest but chose an animal that remains in the background and adapts to the surroundings. Strange enough Andrew decides to instead of start over, to adjust his message: The gel that adapts to you and continued using the name chameleon. Maria leading Platinum went for the female market creating hair spray. The creative process here was faster and very quickly Ashley came up with the name Strexy- Strong and Sexy! They went to their focus group a girl band and got good feedback. Time to move on to design and branding. Both teams went to the supermarkets to see what other brands were doing, what colors they were using ectra. Odessey chose neon green with an image of a chameleon, their TV ad was shot at the swimming pool. The point of their ad was three different guys, three different unique styles. At the last minute Andrew decided to add the comedy touch and be cheeky or so he thought, the last guy walked out with toilet paper stuck to his shoe..oh the horror! To describe Platinum's product and ad in one word would be- tacky! Tiger print using pink (but of course..) This was a clear decision on Maria’s part to make it tacky. When shooting the ad in the boxing ring there was a clear power struggle between Maria and Ashley, leading to confusion and irritation among the professionals shooting it and the hired actors. The story was about two guys boxing, harassing the girl so she puts the spray in her hair and kicks guy ass as a result. Time to pitch- Platinum did a good job presenting their in your face product. It was deliberately tacky but it did stand out which caught the attention of the retailers. Nevdeep pitched for Odessey and did a poor job and therefore, did not really sell their brand. The executives now met Lord Sugar to split hairs with him regarding the winner... The boardroom was very tense, two issues came up almost immediately- Chameleon- Wanting to stand out by using an animal that blends in! Platinum- Having a very tacky cheap looking product might be a turn off. For Odessey the clear contradiction, added confusion combined with an un attractive ad was a bust. The executives thought the toilet paper joke made a joke of the person, saying yes you have the gel and style and still you’re a joke, sending the wrong message completely. It looked like each guy when walking into the swimming pool’s locker room was stealing the gel... there was no edge to it- pick up the gel, look in the mirror, put it down over and over..They also thought girls should have been in the ad to make it attractive to guys. Though cheap looking, Platinum won the task because it was too much in your face kind of ad and product to ignore! This time it paid off for Maria to be Maria... Andrew 5 times looser saw himself already being fired but then Lord Sugar decided to fired Nevdeep for being too academic and not really a business person. I agree with his decision thought it’s also clear Andrew days are numbers and he will not make the final cut. Take away- With all due respect to focus groups and market research, use your instinct and common sense as well! You can’t create a brand to fit the views of a small focus group! You should take their comments on board but it does have to make sense! Have a productive week and if you're celebrating Chanuka- Happy Chanuka:)

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