Ep 8: 'Elizabeth, you're fired'
The teams learned that they would be working at Deutsch Advertising, where they would create an ad campaign. George and Carolyn would observe. The teams headed over to the agency and met with Donny Deutsch, the owner of the company. He told them that their task would be to develop a recruitment campaign for the New York City Police Department. Donny emphasized that he wanted the teams to focus on the emotional element of serving your city as a police officer. Donny left them with a few final words of encouragement: "Don't screw up."
Andy, who said he'd been wanting to lead, got his chance when he was randomly selected to be Mosaic's Project Manager. Andy told his team that he envisioned an ad campaign that asked bigger questions. He pitched an example: "When was the last time you saved a life?" But Maria, who said she had the necessary experience to lead the team on this task, felt that the campaign needed to have sex appeal. She suggested a picture of a Hummer vehicle on the ads. Andy disagreed and steered the team toward his vision.
In a brainstorming session, Chris pitched the idea that after 9/11, working for the NYPD is like working on the front lines. Elizabeth was worried that the concept focused too much on terrorism. But Raj said that the fear was unfounded. And Chris chimed in that police work was serious stuff. Elizabeth said she didn't think the idea was the right one, but since the rest of the team wanted to go that direction, she would too. Then Elizabeth sent Kevin and Ivana to start shooting images of officers in action. But Elizabeth said that, unfortunately, they'd have to start before they knew all the shots they needed. Kevin disagreed with that strategy, but did as he was asked. Apex got a lot of action shots, including a helicopter in flight and a SWAT team sprinting into action. Mosaic showed up at the training facility to find Apex already filming. Wes worried that Apex was way ahead of them. To make matters worse, it threatened to rain. Andy said that he had a list of shots that he wanted to film, but wasn't sure he could get them all. However, Andy said it was important that he keep his composure and just keep shooting.
After a long day of filming, Elizabeth was still not happy with the concept that she had agreed to at the beginning of the day. Kevin offered to help come up with a new concept that could be used with all of the footage they had. The two worked into the night and came up with a new idea. Kevin said that over the action-packed visuals they had, a voice over could say, "I'm just not excited going to work and doing the same old thing." Elizabeth liked the idea because it de-emphasized the military aspects of joining the force and emphasized the idea of getting a great job. Looking relieved, Elizabeth said she "loved" the new direction. At the end of the night, Elizabeth said she wouldn't change her mind again, even though she knew that the others on the team might not be happy with the change. But the next morning, when Elizabeth pitched the new campaign to Raj, Chris and Ivana, they didn't seem receptive. Raj felt that the ads didn't have enough strength. And Elizabeth backed off the idea.
All of Apex gathered again and with Kevin present, Elizabeth announced that they were going back to their original, more militaristic idea from the day before. Kevin was not thrilled that he had spent the previous night coming up with a new campaign, only to have Elizabeth throw it out and change her mind again. Then, when Elizabeth tried to articulate the new version of the ad campaign, the rest of the team said they were confused and didn't get it. Kevin said he didn't know what Elizabeth wanted. Kevin thought that Apex had no chance to win. In an interview, he said, "I think our Project Manager sucks - flat out." Jennifer M. went so far as to suggest a coup. She said that the team should fire Elizabeth as Project Manager. However, the group didn't follow through on the threat.
Later, Elizabeth asked Kevin to work with the print advertising people, but Kevin wasn't clear about what Elizabeth wanted. After going back and forth, he finally told Elizabeth to shut up. He told her that she needed to explain all of her ideas, clearly and completely, to the print people and he would manage the process. He told Elizabeth that she would get no more input from him - and he walked off.
As Apex finished up their campaign, conflict ran high. Kevin said that Elizabeth was trying to put band aids on the military campaign. Kevin said that if you're going to do the military campaign then you should just do the best one you can. Raj completely disagreed with what Elizabeth was doing with the text she was adding to the still images for their posters. He felt it had nothing to do with the themes they were trying to get across.
Finally, it was time for the presentations. First, Apex showed off their ad campaign to Donny and two of his managing partners. Both the print and TV ads showed action and portrayed the police like an extension of the military, asking the viewers to join them on the front lines. Apex left and Mosaic entered. In contrast to the first presentation, Mosaic's print and TV ads asked the viewers personal questions like: "When was the last time you saved a life?", "When was the last time you were fearless?", and "When was the last time you made your family proud?" The ads also used some action shots, but portrayed a more human side of service. After conferring with his partners, Donny brought both teams back into the conference room, where he called Trump. Donny drew a stark contrast between the two campaigns. He said that Apex turned New York into a police state and implied that their ads had the potential to freak out 12 million New Yorkers. On the other hand, he said that Mosaic followed the direction about going for emotion and went for the heart. Donny told Trump that it wasn't even close - Mosaic won by a landslide. Trump congratulated Mosaic and told them that since they had done something for the City of New York, the city would return the favor. Then Trump told Mosaic that he would see them in the boardroom, where someone would be fired.
As their reward, Mosaic was driven to Times Square where they got to see their ad played in public on the jumbo screen.
After Apex entered the boardroom, Trump asked Elizabeth what went wrong. Elizabeth said that it was simple, her team didn't have a good idea. Trump said he wanted to see Apex's ad and so everyone sat through it again. At the conclusion, Carolyn declared it as pretty bad. And Trump thought it was too militaristic. Raj stood up for pushing for the military theme. He said that there were no other ideas on the table. Jennifer M., Chris and Ivana backed Raj up. Then, Raj, Ivana and Jennifer M. all agreed that Elizabeth was a poor leader and used words like "weak," "indecisive," and "paralyzed." Kevin brought up a specific example. He said that the night before the presentation, he and Elizabeth stayed up late and thought up a new direction for their ad campaign. Kevin said he really liked the new approach and that Elizabeth did too. But when Elizabeth pitched the new idea to the rest of the team, they didn't like it and so, Elizabeth dropped it. Trump jumped in and said that as a leader, you have to stand by your decisions, no matter what. Trump felt something was missing from Elizabeth, but he couldn't quite pinpoint it. Donald asked Elizabeth whom she would bring back into the boardroom to face the firing, and Elizabeth said she'd bring Raj and Chris. But Trump thought for a moment and then stunned everyone by saying, "Honestly Elizabeth, I don't think it's necessary. You're fired."