26 October 2015

What can we learn from reality TV?

The Apprentice has returned to our screens, and we have to say that we’re more than a little bit excited.


In fact, our director Gemma is a not-so-secret reality TV junkie and can’t get enough of the behind-the-scenes business programmes that have flooded our screens in recent years.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they give a fascinating insight into companies, leaders, entrepreneurs and employees.


Of course, parts of these programmes are edited for drama and intrigue, but we think that if you walk away with just one tiny gem of an idea, then they are more than worth their salt.


Here’s Gemma’s top TV picks to get the inspiration flowing.

Undercover Boss:


Top of the list and a classic now in its sixth series, Undercover Boss puts the big boss in the hot seat. We’re all about encouraging our clients to ‘walk the floor’ of their companies, and this really does embody that. You can never get to know your employees, and what motivates – or demotivates – them if you never actually walk a day in their shoes.

The Apprentice:


Always sets the bar when it comes to entertainment, feeling the pressure of the pitch, teamwork and disbelief! There’s always a great line up of candidates that keep us guessing until the last minute. The variety of tasks and the flexibility of the teams and team leader each week is a good reminder to businesses to always play to their employees’ strengths and interests, the importance of team spirit, good leadership and clarity of role.

Running the Shop:


A familiar face from Dragons’ Den, millionairess Hilary Devey fronts this Channel 4 show, which attempts to save failing businesses by putting the power into the employees’ hands. In our experience, some of the best ideas come from the staff on the frontline. After all, they are the ones that live and breathe your brand every single day, interact with your customers and understand the challenges and issues.

Virgin Up In The Air:


This is a fascinating behind-the-scenes take on the glamorous and often tongue-in-cheek brand that is Virgin. It’s particularly interesting comparing it to British Airway’s show ‘A Very British Airline’ and demonstrates how employees can truly embody the external brand that your customers relate to.


The Pitch:


Want to know what it’s like as an agency? The US ‘The Pitch’ programme goes behind the scenes showing the pressure America’s top creative ad agencies feel when pitching for a new account. Agencies go head to head with 7 days to prepare. Great stuff!


What’s your favourite business TV show?
Tweet @synergycreative and let us know!


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