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Episode 6: Taking all the credit gets you nowhere, part one

Episode 6 opened with the teams speculating (and hoping) that Stephanie would be fired. Of course, she was not, but remarkably upon her return, she attempted to make amends. She announced that she didn’t take their criticism personally and that she knew she had to learn to communicate more effectively. She then broke into tears, which of course won her sympathy.

The next morning both teams were taken to the Sony Play Station offices and were introduced to two of Sony Playstation’s top executives. Trump announced that the next task would be to use graffiti advertising to market Grand Turismo 4, the next PS2 racing game. Each team would have a 20-foot wall in Harlem to paint, and would collaborate with an artist on the design. Jill again was substituting in for Carolyn. Trump gave a quick reminder that Tana was exempt since she was Project Manager on the winning team the previous week, and the teams were excused.

Team Net Worth gathered and John began playing a video game. Tara volunteered to be Project Manager because the task was taking place in Harlem, which she claimed to know well. Net Worth met with the Sony Executives and asked them about the target demographics of the product. They said they wanted hip, cool men in the 18-34 age bracket. Tara felt confident that she was in touch with that audience.

On team Magna, Alex volunteered to be project manager, because he knew video games pretty well from college. While he and the rest of the team chose an artist, Bren and Stephanie met with the Sony Executives.

Team Networth also met with artists and selected someone named Ernie. Tara took the reins and created a concept that she thought people in Harlem could relate to. She talked about painting the mean streets of New York with scowling faces, while someone with an afro waved on the cars. Huh? I didn’t get that one.

Meanwhile, Alex worked on his idea of a tricked-out car with a jungle theme below. However, when Stephanie and Bren returned, they told him that Sony Executives had indicated that it needed to be more hip and urban and that a jungle them would not really jive with that. Stephanie commented in an interview that Alex needed to make a decision because the team seemed lost and was running out of time.

On team Net Worth, Tara continued to articulate the rationale behind the concept she had developed. Though she sounded very intelligent, the idea seemed to lack substance and relevance to selling a video game. Next, Tara assigned Craig the task of supervising the painting, which he did pretty well, yet butted heads with Audrey. Tara smoothed it over, but did note that Audrey had the most conflict of anyone on the team, which indicated that Audrey had the problem, not the team.

Back on Magna, Alex was struggling with the concept of their mural. Wisely, he decided to survey kids on the street to get their perspective of what would help associate it with the game. The kids had some creative and insightful ideas, talking about using mad props and the bling bling that was necessary. After speaking with the kids, Magna made their car super tricked out, with money flying about, and added a big fist with a ring that was labeled PS2 for Play Station 2.

Back to Net Worth, Tara added a final touch to the mural, which was a tagline reading Tear it up! because she thought the Harlem people would appreciate it. At that point, Trump arrived via stretch limo in his typical fashion to observe the work. He quickly glanced at the work, said it was very good, and returned to his limo. He then drove by Team Magna and only remarked that it was interesting, without getting out of the car. Alex seemed a bit disturbed by this, but said he had done a couple of Hail Marys to bring him luck.

Finally, it was judgment time. Tara walked the Playstation Executives through her concept, while repeatedly saying I this, I that, like a broken record, which irked her team. Doesn’t she know there’s no I in team? Of course there’s no we either, but that’s beside the point. The executives commented that the mural seemed more artistic than marketing oriented, but brought in the focus group to judge the work. Tara was confident that her team had won.

Next the Playstation Execs ventured over to the Magna mural. They liked many of the features on the mural, such as the E for everyone, the big words Grand Turismo 4, and the fist, with the bling bling ring, and the flying cash with the words Drive of your life. Alex commented that before the presentation, he was confident they had won, but afterwards he was a little less sure.

Boardroom time!
The executives said that from an art standpoint they were impressed, however this was not an art project, they were in business of selling games. With that perspective, they felt it was an easy choice. They played the tapes of the focus group comments, starting with Magna. They showed a boy saying he liked the fist, a woman saying she’d buy the game for her kids because of the E for everyone. Next the tape of Net Worth played. People had strong opposition to the billboard, and one person commented that it portrayed a stereotypical view of what people think is Harlem, and that he wouldn’t buy game.

Read more now Click here to read part two.

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