Celebrity Apprentice - Gene Simmons Rulez!

After watching another Celebrity Apprentice, one can only marvel at Gene Simmons(of the KISS fame) and his marketing skills. Episode after episode, he comes up with ideas and execution that simply amazes. Everybody else on the show, including Trump, is so far in his shadow, they are almost invisible.

There is an old marketing maxim - sell the benefit, not the feature. On tonight's show, Simmons once again came up with an excellent, soft sell, that could restore the luster to the tarnished Kodak image. Sadly, Kodak executives that participated in tonight's episode chose to concentrate on selling features - first year marketing student would know better. We can only surmise that the same executives were behind the Kodak advertisement that ran during commercial breaks - a disjointed, visually unappealing mess - that's from a company that used to be synonymous with visual quality and beauty.

Needless to say, Kodak executives chose a messy presentation from the other team - Gene Simmons lost. This brought about the most amusing part of the episode, with Trump practically telling Simmons who to bring back to the boardroom to be fired - he obviously did not want to fire Simmons, since Simmons has been the star of the show. Simmons, unbowed to the end, chose to bring back two people - one who was totally blameless for the loss, and Omarosa - and Trump clearly likes her. Thus, Simmons forced Trump's hand, and got himself fired.

Three observations:

1) The two Kodak executives who participated in the episode truly made a mistake - and Simmons had no qualms stating this publicly - we believe he was right.

2) If Kodak CEO does not fire them - he should be fired by the Board of Directors. If the Board of Directors does not fire the CEO - then the shareholders should fire the Board - why is our judgement so harsh?
Eastman Kodak - a name with worldwide recognition, once synonymous with color photography, is currently trading at the same price it was 42 years ago - and that's not adjusted for inflation. If we count inflation, Kodak stock is trading about 5 times lower than it was trading 4 decades ago.
Click here to see the graph of EK stock price.
How would you like to be a shareholder of a company that's squandered one of the greatest business assets of all times - a name that in terms of worldwide recognition was comparable to Coca-Cola?!

3) Jim Cramer took part in this episode, as one of Trump's assistants. Big mistake.
On his own show, Cramer makes himself out to be a tiger. Today, when facing Trump and Simmons, he came off as a pussycat. In the boardroom, he looked like Trump's vassal. Sorry Jim, not your finest hour.

So here is to the real Tough Guy - Gene Simmons - you rule!




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