The 7 best worker-training music videos
From a corporate take on "Beat It" to a verse on the best way to pour coffee
To the uninitiated, there may seem to be few connections between big businesses and rap. But in fact, corporate behemoths have been producing rap and R&B worker-training videos for almost as long as the music industry has been producing regular rap and R&B music videos.
Here, seven of the best corporate instructional videos from the last 30 years:
1. Wendy's: Grill Skills
Someone with a Reddit account this weekend dug up this treasure: A Wendy's training video that starts as a cozy walk-and-chat with the restaurant's founder, Dave Thomas, but quickly evolves into a video inside a video inside a video, the deepest of which features a psychedelic rap song about how to grill burgers, complete with singing meat patty ladies with long black lashes.
2. Wendy's: Hot Drinks
Wendy's actually made a series of R&B videos in the mid-1980s, like this one, which lists the company's best practices for serving hot drinks in four verses — one each for coffee, decaf, tea, and hot chocolate. Yes, this means an entire verse is dedicated to explaining how to pour coffee into a Styrofoam cup.
3. McDonald's: Clean It
Sometime in that same decade — the year is unclear — McDonald's produced this impeccably choreographed take on Michael Jackson's "Beat It." It features a bizzaro Michael Jackson wearing a too-big white glove, who does the moonwalk while barking cleaning instructions at his backup dancers.
4. Nando's: Wrapper's Delight
Nando's more current, and somehow more uncomfortable, entry isn't so much a training video as a motivational tune to promote the franchise's new chicken wraps. Oh, and it's set to "Rapper's Delight." The most informative line in the song: "You know we take checkbooks, credit cards — all money."
5. Pier 1 Imports:
In 2001, the pricey furnishings and decor company Pier 1 Imports got in on the action with this original rap video starring an excited skinny white couple and their necessarily black salesman. It's chock-full of awkwardly worded advice: "The key to the sale is to make a connection / Why not start with a humorous question?"
6. Once in a Blue Moose: Selling Is Service
This one, for Once in a Blue Moose, a gift shop in Alaska that sells everything from fine jewelry to moose-ear headbands, is a lot like the Pier 1 video, but with a really, really low budget. Which somehow makes it a lot more endearing.
7. Southern California Rapid Transit District: Bus Rapping
What do you get when you combine rapping, public transit, and a boss irritated by workers showing up late? Some pretty choice lyrics, that's what: "While you were out there gettin' your yucks, the public was out $5 million bucks / That's how much maintenance uses each year, to make up for workers who just ain't here."