Apprentice
The Pepsi Challenged

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The [Pepsi] Edge of Reason

It is soon the next day, and faster music than usual welcomes us back to Pepsi, where Kelly is picking up and admiring his bottle, which indeed has a small hole through the middle. Kevin tells us that he thinks the bottle will "stand out," and that this again shows that Kelly is "a proven winner." They all admire the bottle, and then Ivana interviews that "it literally brought a tear to [her] eye," the bottle was so awesome. And then we see the part where she cried over the plastic bottle, and can somebody get rid of her already, seriously? She's crying over plastic. God.

At Mosaic, Andy is working on the computer and telling Jen how badly he wants to beat Kelly. She agrees. "Good will triumph," Andy says, and I would find it a little funny if he hadn't been such a schmuck last night. I'm not sure he can claim to represent the forces of good when he's kind of being a suck manager and also has Jen on his team. Andy explains, in an interview that appears to take place in the reedy area of the Pepsico campus located in the Everglades, that he wants to win by a lot just to show that he can defeat Kelly. "This win is...it's everything to me," he says.

In the Apex room, Ivana, Kevin, and Kelly are all pacing, apparently speaking their various portions of the presentation. Again, is this what passes for excitement this week? Pacing? Furthermore, as they fondle their bottle, it occurs to me that the way they have the "D" and the "G," the word "EDGE" is supposed to read down vertically, using the white Es in "PEPSI" at the top and bottom. But those letters are in such different presentation styles -- the horizontal words are white, not raised, printed on a label, and smaller -- that they don't at all visually connect to the D or the G, in my opinion. I would never see the word "EDGE" in that bottle, and I'm thinking not being able to make out the product name is sort of a bad thing. Anyway, Kelly interviews about how they were all pacing and talking, and it's just not that funny.

Apex makes its way to the room where it is to present its bottle, and when Kelly opens the door, it turns out to be the door to a large auditorium where a whole gaggle of Pepsi marketing people are hanging out. Hilariously overblown music of fear accompanies the team's entrance. Ivana explains that they were expecting a conference room, and they didn't get one. Instead, they got "a stadium in Gladiator." It's so appropriate that Ivana would name a totally overrated movie, by the way. She then says that her "heart was beating out of [her] chest." Unfortunately, she is being figurative. Apex is welcomed and invited to start its presentation. The blinds are closed. Go! Kelly starts things off, leading with "you asked us to think outside the box," and seriously, can there be anyone in marketing who believes that phrase has any meaning whatsoever anymore? Does that mean anything other than "come up with an idea," at this point? Kelly tries to stretch this into something where there's some relationship between the hole in the bottle, which is apparently square, and thinking outside the box, so they put the box in the product or something, and...really, what? Ivana goes to show off the hole in the bottle, but after pushing a pencil through the hole, even she laughs nervously like, "Yeah, I know, it's not really that exciting." If you're going to do this, you can't laugh like you feel dorky, or people will know your idea isn't really cool. Again, Ivana returns to the stupid idea of putting promotional materials inside the hole, which is so tiny that this whole idea is completely absurd. Kevin stands up and hollers about how they can make a whole campaign around the box, and the box is so awesome, and put anything you want in the box! At least he's not sweating. You know what their big slogan is? "Check the box." Do you know how boring the expression "check the box" is? People associate that with, like, doing their taxes. That's like making your hip-ass slogan "Your Name Here." The Pepsi marketing geniuses dismiss the nitwits of Apex and invite in the nitwits of Mosaic.

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