Monthly Archives: July 2011

Dear The Apprentice

Dear The Apprentice,

Thank you once again (I thanked you (here) previously), for entertaining me so brilliantly over the past couple of months…

Once again the far-fetched and totally unrealistic trials and tribulations of your loathable, laughable, likeable and loveable candidates was a televisual feast!

Thank you revising your format and making the prize just so much more intriguing…

In the old format, Helen would have (deservedly) got the job and no doubt disappeared into the Sugar empire only to re-emerge approximately 24 months and 1 day later.


But with the new format and a £250k investment up for grabs, we got Tom as our winner.


(And I’m not just saying that because he was my pick from the outset – well Episode 2, or 3, anyway)

And finally, thank you for making me wonder whether your producers are going to address the branding dilemma that now faces them for the next series…

Much improved and highly compelling product / format…


Brand name that is no longer appropriate and only partially relevant.

I suspect they’ll rightly opt for the “don’t fix what ain’t broke” / “carry on as if nothing’s changed” strategy in the short-term, but as the franchise marches on, the disconnect will grow and grow…

New for 2015, Lord Sugar’s search for The Entrepreneur, has begun…?

Thanks again



Dear UPS

Dear UPS,

Thank you for your unashamedly all-American delivery trucks…not the vans, the trucks.

Yesterday evening, you made the B2027 between Islip and Bletchingdon feel like Highway 61.

Americana in Oxfordshire. Yessiree.

OK, so your trucks look totally out of place on the UK roads, but they do a great job of helping your brand stand out. As do those somewhat unflattering acrylic mud-brown uniforms…Brand touchpoints my boy, brand touchpoints…

But what I really wanted to thank you – and your vans – for, was enabling your drivers to bomb along with both doors open.

Seeing one of your drivers bouncing around on his seat whilst the evening sun pours in, is one of those little things that makes me smile.

  • It’s the van drivers’ equivalent of putting the roof down in the convertible and blasting off into the sunset with a broad smile on their face – happy days!
  • It’s as if the driver is saying, “I fear no-one and nothing …I’m the master of my own destiny and I laugh in the face of the health and safety pedants” – nice one!
  • It’s a sure sign the sun is shining and life is good – summer’s here!
  • In fact, it’s nearly as heart-warming as seeing a dog, ears-pinned back, taking in the air from a moving car window – one of my favourite sights of all time

And thank you for that driver seat – the fact that it looks like the cross between the type of loo you might find in a mid-state penitentiary and the electric chair you might find a hop and a skip along from Death Row, makes your trucks seem all the more American.

Thanks again UPS.







Thank you for showing us that things can get better…

…And for finally realising that just because someone is “famous” (and has some distant traits that are vaguely relevant to your business), that it doesn’t mean you should pay them to be associated with your brand…

You went from this horror show…

…To this Razzie worthy cringe-fest…

…But now you’ve given us this…

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Yes, yes, I know it was all about building brand awareness and making sure people knew who you were and what you did with Peter, Omid and Nigel, but boy am I pleased that you’ve reached the stage you’re at now…

Who knows, maybe “You’re so moneysupermarket” will go the way of “Should have gone to Specsavers” and creep into our vernacular.


Would be great for you if it did.

Thanks again – whatever happens, Jeff’s a legend in my book.


Dear Specsavers

Dear Specsavers,

Thank for making me laugh time and again. Your latest iteration is no exception:

Your consistent commitment to the “Should have gone to Specsavers” idea is admirable.

But then again, why would you change such a brilliantly simple and winning formula?

Here are just some of my favourites:





The realisation that “Should have gone to Specsavers” was slowly but surely entering the common vernacular must have been wonderful – you have provided us all something to aim for.

Thanks again,


PS – I sort of thanked you when I was thanking Honda here, but  I fear my gratitude was insufficient. Your Lynx / Axe spoof is pure genius: