Singles’ Day thanks to Reality TV?

Valentine’s Day – probably one of THE most commercialized days of the year (Christmas, Easter, Halloween are others) where roses, cards, chocolate hearts and teddy bears make its ROI. But what about those who are single? What do they do on this day? Thanks to The Apprentice UK, this show might just have given an idea to greeting card retailers …

Along with Dragons’ Den, one of my favourite British TV shows is The Apprentice UK with Sir Alan Sugar who tests candidates to become his next apprentice. (The show originated from its American counterpart The Apprentice with Donald Trump, who is now hosting Celebrity Apprentice). I love this show because it has the reality TV aspect, the business, great tasks, daunting challenges, clash in characters and Sir Alan who shouts in the boardroom “You’re Fired!” It’s so addictive I love it!! 

In this episode, one team decides to come up with a concept of developing greeting cards for single people and call it Singles’ Day and market it the day before Valentine’s Day. Clever no? I thought so, until the retailers slammed it as impossible to market Singles’ Day in opposition to one of their largest selling events in the calendar year, Valentine’s. I still think the idea is funny and unique – I mean after all they now have greeting cards for Diet (???), Pets … what will they come up with next? 

The Apprentice UK, much like Dragons’ Den, is a phenomenal success. You’d need a larger than life personality for the millionaire tycoon but the concept really works. In the US, it was the record-most watched TV program when it was launched. In the UK, they’re onto Season 5. As in business, you see candidates manipulating behind the scenes, egos clashing, people panicking and losing their tasks in monumental shame. Can’t be easy to be followed by camera crews, and thinking on the spot to achieve your goal in 2 days, whilst working with a team of strangers. Usually you see the losing team with its project manager back in the boardroom and then the 3 worst get interrogated by Sir Alan before one of them gets fired. Business is not like that obviously and for good reasons. But the concept and the personalities are not far off from reality. 

Reality TV at its best. Singles’ Day for the future?

PZ

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