Apprentice
Ice Cream Of Genie

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: C+ | Grade It Now!
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Lesson Four: Strap It Back

The execs stare as Excel files in. Markus comes in all fnur fnur fnur and puts down a sad little tray of cheese and crackers and grapes and stuff in front of them. They stare at it like they've never seen bad meeting food before. It's so sad. Then! Mark, in the costume, comes dancing in and nods his head at them like I Dream Of Jeannie, arms folded, and jumps around crazily, and Clay welcomes "Ginny The Blizzard Genie."

It's terrifying.

"Her" face is white, like those guys you see in the dark after a scary movie even though you're over thirty years of age, her hat is jaunty, her breasts are ridiculous, her costume is like if Santa Claus joined the Moldavian army, her penis is clearly outlined, the hard-plastic mask attaches to the fabric costume in such a way that she has a Richard Fish-worthy wattle, and her grin...oh, her grin. There's a little bit of the blow-up doll in there, a dash of those clown things you knock over but they don't stay down, some Pennywise, some Killer Klown, those creepy dolls at your grandma's house that come alive at night, and a heaping helping of Robert Blake from Lost Highway. Well, any old Robert Blake, but specifically that one.

Randal says you could "sense a feeling of excitement and enthusiasm," but I think he means "stark trouser-blasting fear." "From her flowing soft-serve hair," Clay dithers, "to her wonderful DQ bling [for real!] all over her body," he goes on and on, about her "royal DQ colors," and ends up exactly where he needs to be, on the square marked "easily adaptable to any retail location throughout the world." Asked why they went with a female character, Clay gives the gayest answer imaginable: "She's larger than life!" That's Ginny with a G! He explains in some kind of fucked-up garblespeak that she'll be attractive to younger girl customers, who are not yet a huge DQ demographic because of all of TV, and that she has "some sex appeal to her" that will appeal to older men. "She attracts a broad base of who you want to attract to Dairy Queen." They love it. They love it. Alone, the execs talk about how Excel "took risks" and is the winner.

Everybody comes back in, and everybody's worried except for Toral, because she is a sociopath. The execs conference in Trump, and tell him that both teams performed very well. They say Zip is an original character, but maybe too geared toward younger kids, and that they're not interested in making a run at the cartoon business. Really, though, the problem is that there's no association with the brand -- the CBO and the VP of Brand Identity saying this -- and that although Zip is "fun," he has...nothing to do with Dairy Queen, or Blizzards, or anything besides how cute and funny and cool and spazzy Jennifer is. Meanwhile, Ginny the Genie evokes the "magic of Blizzard" and "the magic of DQ" and showed a good connection to the target.

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Apprentice

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