'Celebrity Apprentice/Camping World
Editor's Note: The following story deals with the March 20, 2011, episode of "Celebrity Apprentice" which featured Camping World. The contestants shop at a makeshift Camping World store in Brooklyn, N.Y., to stock their makeshift store.
Was the competition stacked against the women on "The Celebrity Apprentice" when the teams had to market and brand Camping World, a one-stop shop for camping gear?
“No,” argues blog site Zap2it.com, “we think they lost because they never quite understood that when it comes to camping, the gear sells itself. Who wants to be out in the wild without the proper equipment? It's camping that needed to be sold because that's the first hurdle — getting people to want to ‘rough it’ in the first place — and then that they should go to Camping World for all their gear. And the women failed on both of those goals.”
The men won in the reality TV show hosted by Donald Trump for selling the experience and having a superior branding display with C&W musician John Rich on his guitar and former baseball luminary Jose Canseco throwing the ball around with fans, the blogger maintains.
All together, Zap2it maintains, it hooked people in to the ideal vision of a camping experience – which, presumably, was the main goal of Camping World Chairman Marcus Lemonis, who obtained for his Bowling Green, Ky., company some pretty flagrant publicity on prime time TV.
In fact, WOODALLSCM.com reports, Lemonis played a visible role in the show, visiting with both teams of celebrities, briefly selling the 45-year-old Camping World brand as “America’s largest RV outdoor retailer” and presenting to the contestants the challenge for the two-hour episode:
“You’ll be creating an outdoor camping experience that displays not only our campers, but all of our products,” Lemonis told the contestants. “I will provide each team two unique RV’s. You will then display those RVs in a setting in New York City. You will also negotiate for the campers you won,” he noted.
Celebrity contestants were to be judged for brand messaging, the originality of each team’s Camping World experience” and overall presentation.
The two most visible products throughout the show included a Winnebago Ellipse Class A and a Keystone Montana fifth-wheel.
Things didn't always look picture perfect, Zap2it.com addss. The men had a disastrous first day as a haggard-looking Gary Busey stepped into the project manager role and showed that even when he's in charge, he can't focus. Who knew what he was saying? The guys basically guessed their way through the day. The funny thing is that each guy, no matter how unimpressed with their double-talking leader they were, brought something to the table. Where Gary didn't care enough, pop-rock boy bander Mark McGrath worried too much. Where creativity lacked, John composed a little country jingle.
On the women's team, model Niki Taylor may have been a lot better about communicating, but her team wasn't exactly the easiest to handle.
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