OFFSTAGE: John Rich Sells Trump’s Hotels

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

On Sunday night’s (April 24) episode of Celebrity Apprentice, John Rich, Meatloaf and Lil Jon had to create a print ad campaign for Trump Hotels. And just like on previous episodes, where Rich seemed like he could sell ice to Eskimos, he was a natural to take on the role as project manager. (Although he admitted, “I don’t know what the hell it means to promote the Trump Hotel Collection. When I’m out on the road on tour, I probably wouldn’t stay there myself. This is outside my range of expertise.”) So what they came up with was a tag line of “Live the Life.” Now, I was an advertising copywriter for 20 years so I speak from experience when I say: SNORE. It’s so cliché. There’s nothing proprietary. It’s a “me too” claim. It could be said of any hotel chain, bank, restaurant, tampon or beer company. So when Rich went on to talk about how his wife felt when she stayed in one of the hotels and walked into her room and saw a crib and stuffed teddy bear, all ready for her and her son, I wondered why they didn’t make an ad out of that. A picture of the Donald with a teddy bear in his hand would get noticed for sure. Plus, the copy was too long and the butler picture had some issues. But when it was all said and done, Rich was able to give $20,000 more to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. And LaToya Jackson was fired.