Marketing Information

Marketing Lessons From TV's The Apprentice

Can we actually learn a marketing lesson from reality TV? In the case of Donald Trump's "The Apprentice" I'd say we can.

Advertising and marketing are creative disciplines. That's one reason I love working in marketing. Finding creative solutions that help clients sell their products and services is a fun way to make a living. Creativity is one of the great things about the marketing industry. But I'd argue it can also be its downfall. Too often I see marketers going way too far with their ideas of "creativity."

In my opinion it is certainly possible to be too creative for your own good. What exactly do I mean by that? Let me share a very public example to explain.

My example comes from the reality television show, "The Apprentice." Okay, so I admit it, I LOVE that show. I'm not much of a reality TV fan, but there's something about watching these teams compete on business challenges week in and week out that intrigues and entertains me.

Quite often they are given marketing-related tasks on the show. Let's face it, marketing is one of THE most important jobs you'll ever have in business. If you can do it well, your business will more than likely do well. If you can't market well, your business is in trouble.

In a recent episode of "The Apprentice" the task was to create a TV commercial for Dove Body Wash. The teams were instructed to come up with an "out of the box" 30-second television spot to promote the product. The result?

Both teams created garbage! The ideas behind both spots were bizarre, they didn't feature the product the way someone would actually use it, and they weren't targeted at women, the primary audience for Dove Body Wash. I guess some may argue they certainly did think "out of the box" creatively and both teams certainly tried to justify that's what they did, but in the end, they failed miserably at their number one task: to sell the product!

And that's what I think happens to many marketers who try to be too creative. They lose sight of the fact their job is to sell a product or service. To do that effectively, your marketing has to be one word: relevant. You can be as clever or creative as you want, but in the end if your marketing is not relevant to the product AND to those who are most likely to buy it, you have failed.

Look, I realize we have to be creative to capture our audience's attention. After all we are trying to cut through a sea of marketing clutter. Consumers are bombarded with somewhere in the neighborhood of 5000 marketing message every day. That's a lot to break through!

I just wish more marketers tried harder to connect with their audience vs. simply entertain them. Heck, I sometimes wonder if marketers even know who their audience is. This definitely came into play in The Apprentice with both teams showing men using Dove Body Wash in their commercials. C'mon, it doesn't take a lot of sense to recognize this product is for women! But because they were so focused on being clever, they lost sight of this very basic fact.

If I can leave you with one thought it is this: Identify and know your audience and then aim to connect with them in a relevant way. Your goal should be to jump into the conversation they are already having in their head about your product or service category. If you can do this, you will be effective in capturing their attention AND selling your product or service.

© Copyright 2005 Debbie LaChusa

20-year marketing veteran, consultant, author, teacher and coach Debbie LaChusa, has developed The 10stepmarketing System to help small business owners successfully market their business, themselves. To learn more about this simple, step-by-step program and to sign up for her FREE audio class and FREE weekly ezine featuring how-to articles, tips and advice, visit

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at


How One Small Marketing Change Made A Big Difference For 7 Executives
Your content marketing strategy is sinking. What's your next move? Perhaps it's time for a rethink. Seven executives who specialize in content marketing shared their stories of how one small change sparked a significant shift in their business. Connect ...

What are the most effective methodsfor marketing a listing and yourselves?”
Our personal marketing involves impeccable and memorable service. Word-of-mouth marketing is the best. Our clients rave to friends, family and colleagues about us. We generate significant repeat business and referrals. We also provide fun and useful ...


Adobe Changes Its Marketing Cloud Trajectory With Marketo Acquisition
For Adobe, the payback isn't coming just from the B2B marketing segment. Adobe naturally wants to fill a gap in its lineup and capitalize on B2B marketing's growth trajectory; Forrester is forecasting the global market for B2B marketing automation to ...
Adobe Buys Marketing-Automation Firm Marketo for $4.75 BillionWall Street Journal
Adobe forks out $4.75bn for Marketo in massive marketing mashup moveThe Register
Adobe to Buy Marketo for $4.75 Billion in Marketing PushBloomberg
Reuters -MarTech Today -CNBC -Business Wire
all 253 news articles »


Why Salesforce Can Win Influencer Marketing
The second type is made up of pure-play, self-serve platforms (Sideqik or FameBit) that empower brands and agencies to speed up the grunt work when it comes to influencer marketing. Some self-serve platforms even go as far as defining their solutions ...

and more »


Experiential Marketing and Social Media: A Killer Combo That Brands Aren't Doing Right
Although the world is becoming more digital by the day, experiential marketing is gaining newfound momentum. While consumers are used to gathering information and making connections via electronic means, nothing can quite take the place of face-to-face ...

Fake Poster Leads To McDonald's Asian-American Marketing Campaign
Email. September 21, 20185:55 AM ET. Heard on Morning Edition. Two Asian-American men made a fake poster and hung it up at McDonald's. The company plans to feature more Asian-Americans in its marketing, and cut each of the guys a $25,000 check.

Publishers Weekly

How to Write Better Marketing Copy
Publishers Weekly
Though that's a well-known phenomenon when it comes to editorial perception, overexposure is less acknowledged by marketers. When you're marketing what feels like your 100th thriller—as an author or for a publishing house—you might feel like you've ...

IZOD's Latest Campaign Scores With In-House Marketing
Izod needs to measure viewer sentiment online and whether the campaign drives foot traffic or high performance on in-store marketing, he said, which could change the content or how it's edited for videos the next day. Normally, that effort could ...


'Marketing can't be made up': Volvo's brand chief wants communications to mean something
We've all seen glossy advertising campaigns that seem a world away from the reality of the product. But for Volvo, marketing must reflect what is actually happening inside the company. "I think one of the major things is marketing cannot be about ...

and more »

Marketing Land

Marketers prepare for changes in states' sales tax nexus laws
Marketing Land
It's been two months since the Supreme Court ruled that states can now introduce legislation that will require e-tailers above a certain sales threshold to collect sales tax. It overruled a previous decision that took them off the hook from collecting ...

Google News

home | site map
© 2007