How about ‘Coffin Dodgers’? suggested Zoe, helpfully, as Jedi Jim Eastwood’s Team Venture brainstormed title ideas for a free premium magazine (‘freemium’), aimed at high-spending over-60’s, on last night’s The Apprentice. After all, “Everyone thinks you die at 60” she explained. 67-year-old Nick Hewer’s eye-roll told us what he thought about that.
“We don’t want to be patronising” decided the team. So other ideas included ‘The Old Boot’, ‘The Old Soak’, ‘Life’s Too Short’ and the one they finally picked – ‘Hip Replacement’ (supposed to be ironical and cool, but not really achieving either). They carefully chose the dullest typography and a cover picture reminiscent of a 1970s knitting pattern book, to complete the drab, stereotypical look. “They may as well have called it ‘Colostomy Bag'” quipped Jenny Eclair later on ‘The Apprentice – You’re Fired’.
Meanwhile, Natasha’s Team Logic decided to target the other end of the spectrum – the lads’ market, with ‘Covered’, a ‘work hard, play hard’ mag combining business and, um… well, soft porn. Features in the publication included Leon’s idea for an upmarket spending article “How do you blow your load?” Hmmm. Classy. But perhaps a bit more soft porn than business? But “porn sells” they decided. Well yes, but as Dara pointed out on ‘The Apprentice – You’re Fired’, “Porn sells porn!”. With his glasses steaming up, Tom directed the photo shoot for the front cover. “You’re thinking surfing, you’re thinking business” he urged the rather confused, scantily-clad female model, who was (bizarrely) wearing just a pinstripe jacket over her underwear and clutching a surfboard. Oh, and sporting a construction helmet!
Having bragged earlier that “I can take their hearts, I can take their minds”, Jedi Jim was elected to lead his team’s sales pitches to senior execs at three top London ad agencies. After getting a frosty reception at the first agency – having refused to budge from ratecard – Jim quickly rethought his strategy in pitch number two; “Would you be willing to do a rate of two thousand pou…” “YES!” blurted Jim, before the question was finished! I sympathised. It reminded me me of when I worked in Fleet Street, pitching to ad agencies every day.
Nick Hewer summed up Jim well – “Trying to nail anything on Jim is like trying to nail jelly to a wall”. Quite. But we also saw a slightly more sinister side of Jim in the boardroom, after Venture lost the task. He rounded on young (and largely ineffectual) Susan, accusing her of being “a mouse”. “I know it seems like we’re all trying to shoot Bambi” he justified. “Which one’s Bambi?” asked Lord Sugar. “Susie” explained Jim. “Actually, it was Bambi’s mother that got shot” said LS. Jim softened – “You’re only slightly worse than Glenn” he reassured Susan.
“Passive-aggressive” Jim certainly doesn’t lack self-esteem. “I was the project manager they all loved” he declared, as he decided who to bring back to face the music with him. In the end, having not made his mark on the task, Glenn’s boardroom defence wasn’t up to much either! “But I’m a social manager at a football club” he stammered, as if that would be exactly what Lord Sugar would be looking for in a future business partner. But it wasn’t, and Glenn was fired.
Jenny Eclair absolutely cracked me up on the BBC2 show, when she observed “Jim is like Derren Brown gone bad!”, immediately setting Twitter users’ thumbs busy.
So how much further can Jim go? Has he fallen to the dark side of the force? Who’s your money on? Can’t wait for next week!