Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Zoe gets the biskwits

We were going to say that this weeks task takes the biscuit, but Jim said it over the winner's tea party, and there's no way we would get in the way of Jim taking the credit....

It's Sunday evening, everyone is relaxing in the Big Brother house. We mean the Apprentice Apartment.

A knock at the door, it's the next door neighbour asking for a cup of sugar.

Oh, no, it's Lord Sugar come to check on his beetches.

"Hey beetches, get mah beeteches in the goddam kitchen, beetch. Ah wan a word with yo beetches."

Oh no, it's not beetches, he wants biscuits. Can't he go to the corner shop like everyone else?

Oh, no, wait. He wants the gang to make some biscuits. And guess what? He's not looking for a sales person. But the winner with have sold the most biscuits.

Helen has run food outlets before, so is an obvious choice for PM. But wait, is there a contender?

"This is right up my street, it's what I do", says Susan.

Hang on, doesn't she sell cosmetics? And not very well?

"But it's a similar concept". Yes, I often have my mid morning break with a cup of tea and a yummy pot of eye shadow.

Back at snack HQ, Tom sets about inventing a new biscuit, drawing a schematic of where the raisins will be positioned. By robot, probably.

Tom has invented an emergency biscuit, to be eaten in an emergency. So you buy it in an emergency.

Tom, if I can get to the shops, it's not an emergency.

"Each team will work with a biscuit development boffin"

An old man in a white hat is the boffin. We were expecting a laboratory with bubbling liquids, electrical things and monkeys in cages. Not an old man in a hat with a full range of flour products. And a cooker.

Jim takes over from Susan's normal role, asking, "How feasible is a biscuit for children?"

Hmm, let's think. Biscuits. Children. Could it work?

Melody has a daring concept, "I'm going to do 'Biscuits, the new popcorn'"

"You can be snacking on it while watching TV"

Wow! Can I?

Yes, but not before bed.

It's a blob of dough with marshmallows and cornflakes falling out of it.

"I think this fills a gap in the market"

We think it would fill the gap in the floorboards where the mice come in. She should have been pitching it to B&Q.

Jim runs the focus group, meaning that he fills some kids with sugar and then asks if they like it. That's like asking the kids hanging around the shops if they like smack.

What shape? Star shaped. Shooting stars? Special stars? "I'll take credit for that one" says Jim. They laugh. He says he's only joking. If only. Jim takes the credit for his own conception.

Jim pays one of his colleagues a rare compliment. "I like Helen's personality, but probably because she's passive. Who doesn't like that?"

Hmm... Helen?

Tom has spent hours hunched over his drawing board and chemistry set. He finally bursts from the laboratory, hands raised to the Heavens, crying "It Lives!!"

"Something's gone wrong, I need an emergency biscuit"

A random Welsh woman gets the idea, "Like you put the phone down and you think 'I need a biscuit'?"

Yes, exactly that kind of emergency, random Welsh woman. Never fear, the emergency biscuit is here.

You could put them in little glass boxes on the kitchen wall. Break glass in case of emergency. Smash. Oh no, my biscuit's full of broken glass.

Melody's still harping on about her popcorn/ biscuit homunculus. She has even given her Godless creation a name. It is called "Popscuit"

Sounds like the noise you make when you have diarrhoea.

The old people of Swansea like the heart biscuit. It was a concept they could get their heads round. It's a biscuit. It's a pretty shape. It's everything you want in a biscuit.

But Zoe ruled out the idea. Didn't like it one bit. Is that because Glenn isn't there? Sore subject?

Tom's double biscuit began to take shape. He attached two electrodes and waited for lightning to strike.

Natasha briefs the designer for the Special Stars packaging, "Special stars, take away the description of time, we open up time. Do you get it?"

Open up time? Tom is interfering with the very work of God and Natasha is opening up the fabric of time. The end of the world is nigh.

Melody questions Zoe's market positioning. "Have you made a decision as to what scenario it's aimed at?"

erm... The scenario where I want a biscuit? Is that complicated? Is the world so commercialised now that we need different biscuits for different scenarios?

"Mrs Faversham, would you care for a custard cream with your tea?"

"What the hell? Custard cream? You dozy trollop. Bring me a ginger nut forthwith"

However, Zoe will not be challenged by Melody. "I couldn't give a shiny shit about Melody".

Natasha makes a public announcement in Asda, "I'm going to be demonstrating a new biscuit product"

Demonstrating? We've always wondered what to do with a biscuit.

A man with a big purple nose, gives his feedback, "It's a bit dry that, isn't it?"

At Sainsbury's,Melody and Tom pretend they're at home and the buyers look distinctly uncomfortable. Wouldn't you if someone was in your house eating your biscuits?

Natasha identifies her biscuits USP as "An oatmeal based flapjack biscuit with a chocolate star on top".

Wait, here's an idea. A rich tea with a raisin on top. USP!

Now it's time for the Asda pitch, to be held in the cafe at an Asda store. Odd.

Before going in, Melody tries to hijack the pitch by winding up Zoe, so Zoe responds by doing the role play with Melody.

The buyer says, "If I had digestives on a night in, I'd feel a little bit cheated"

Ooooooh! Get you! You're having a meeting in an Asda cafe and you'd feel cheated by a digestive? Well, we're not getting our biscuit tin out, you'll feel totally conned.

Helen pitches the kid's lard surprise, we mean the Special Stars, to Waitrose.

"Special stars are what children are all about"

The buyer wants to know how they would market a kids product that is so unhealthy?

Helen says, "I don't think we need to be told what's healthy and what isn't. I think we all know what's healthy these days."

That told her.... Bloody do-gooder.

The Asda buyer is interested in the Lardy Stars, "How would you launch it onto Asda's shelves?"

With a catapult?

No, wait, don't launch it onto the shelves. Leave them on the floor because the fat little kids who eat them won't be able to reach the shelves.

Jim jumps right in with a conservative and considered response, "We would launch it with above the line marketing and below the line marketing and advertise on TV and maybe tie it in with Harry Potter. A very structured and strategic advertising program. With a wand and a wizard."

In the board room...

Was Zoe a good team leader? Silence

Jim stands by his offer to get Harry Potter on board and use his chocolate star.

Lord SugarCoatedBiscuit says that any idiot can get an order from a supermarket by promising a massive product launch. You spend £20 Million on a TV campaign and the supermarkets will be only too happy to let you use their shelves.

And the results?

Bixnix - No orders at all

Special Stars - 800,000 boxes if they make them exclusive to Asda

Right at the start, Zoe said that a good product will sell itself, and that she needed to be in the kitchen. But the team talked her out of it, saying she needed to design the packaging. All style, no substance. And she makes biscuits and stuff for a living!

Didn't she learn from Tom's kicking last week?


But Zoe loved it when she tried it.

Back in the boardroom, Zoe blames the product quality. It wasn't premium.

Melody said there was no clear product market.

Tom said that he didn't realise that he was supposed to be making a luxury product.

£1.99 per packet and he didn't realise???

Zoe defended her broad targeting by saying that Bixmix was "Suitable for elderly, children, couples alike"

It's a bloody biscuit!

Tom defends himself, "I came up with a huge number of very powerful ideas"

Zoe's turn, "I signed off the theory of the product and I didn't understand how thick the digestive ring was, it was disgusting and wheaty"

She bloody loved it!!!

Melody, "I came up with quite daring concepts"

Daring? Biscuits?

So who should go? Is it melody? Too disruptive?

Tom? Bad product?

It's Zoe. Strops off, not a word.

Next week, the teams will be selling tat on a street market. What is it with Lord Sugar, wanting to relive his youth through his teams? He's like a pushy parent.

And then, on the "You're fired" autopsy show, Zoe comes on looking like an airline stewardess.

Now that really does take the biscuit.

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