There’s No “I” In Team

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Lesson Two: Leave It On The Playground

Alla and the video people are having a lovely brainstorm, running with each other's ideas. Alla -- who is worth $12 million and knows a little bit about the consumer here -- is trying to explain that in this market, the normal rules about aspiration don't apply. Lamborghini buyers don't need to be convinced that they deserve luxury, or that they need it to keep up with the Joneses, or justify their purchases to themselves. You never hear this kind of consumer saying, "I deserve this," she says, and I never thought about it that way. Alla is awesome. Jen M., agreeing, is like, "Do you [have to] ask permission?" and Alla loves it. They high five. "Do you need permission?" George is inscrutable. Alla tells us that Marshawn did a good job of delegating, but gave insignificant input. Kristi and Alla practice their boardroom speeches -- I hate when people do this, and both teams do a lot of it this week, preemptively explaining themselves to themselves in order to cover their own doubt -- about how Marshawn doesn't care about the task and how they had to step up and make "an executive decision." Jen M. has slightly more trepidation in this exercise, but I imagine it's compelling for all three, since they were there the whole time. Kristi said they edited for ten hours and is upset that Marshawn never even came to check out the video. I don't know, though; that seems short-sighted considering they must have been in at least moderate communication with her throughout the day.

Mark and Brian work with a KTG print advertising executive -- Mark interviews really excitedly about how the guy's "second to none," like, how would you even know, and then we watch them play with Photoshop for a while. It's pretty irritating because you can't reach inside the TV and help, or take over, or smack them. Especially that last, when they reveal their big slogan: "The Rebirth of Italian Intimidation." Mussolini and Gandolfini, okay. That's where you go with that. Italian Intimidation? Those are the options. My highly-quotable friend Anna: "Not that the Gandolfini/Mussolini thing isn't sexy. It's just not high-market sexy."

The fellas argue about capitalizing on…something…and Mark sharp-focuses on like the capital letter "I" in "Italian." Ignoring the semiotic racism on either side of it completely, not to mention the fact that "Italian" is in a completely different font from everything else and that the ad is ugly as hell. They shrink the offending "I" (pluck it out!) and Mark says that this "pops." He says that it looked like a "backwards seven" and that now it flows, and looks, better. It's that same deal, selling themselves to themselves, just going for a palimpsest of confusion and bad judgment, scribbled over itself with the force of a gallon of espresso. Carolyn watches, bemused, as they all circle-jerk about how it's "beautiful" and "hot," and she interviews that they are so excited and generally moronically into this that they're going to miss some flaws: "Certainly some flaws that I saw."

Then the dudes spend a thousand years fighting over this poster: A green Lamborghini with the words "Green With Envy." written over it. Okay, A, that means the car is envious; B, it looks exactly like a VW ad; and C, nobody would ever be envious of a car that color. Mostly A, though, because no matter what, the car is green. It's stupid. Mark is confusing here, because he interviews how Markus has this huge problem with it because it suggests, any way you slice it, that the car is green with envy. Mark seems to agree, in the interview, but he immediately says that he and Chris decided to keep it anyway. Markus wants at least a question mark at the end, and yes, that would be better, but the car is…still green. Anyway, it's boring, and then they all talk each other up and get all frothing and fratty with each other. They do that thing where instead of talking about the thing, they talk about the talking about the thing, and try to sell it to themselves, rather than addressing the underpinnings of the crappiness. Just like in the last scene. This is why I don't work for a regular company anymore, because meetings like this make me want to kick a baby in the face. Masturbatory, ephemeral, time-wasting, stupid. Mark assures us of their victory, at this point in his interview, and we fade out on him laughing in slow motion, tipping his head back, flush with hubris.

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