Motivational Recording Of the Day 9/17/2013: 1979 McDonald's Employee-Only Flexidisc featuring Ray Kroc

Today's morale boost comes to us courtesy of the 1970's, and the Golden Arches. Back when minimum wage was much more romantic than it is now, large corporations would sometimes disseminate mass-produced recorded messages to the minions doing the front-line, ground-level work, just to soothe any emergent doubts they might have had that their humanity was being reduced to a pulpy form and given a few turns in a salad spinner just to drive the point home. And that's what McDonald's did in 1979 when they distributed this Flexidisc to their retail managers.

It's the announcement for their then-new advertising campaign -- you know, like the "I'm lovin' it" theme they've been using for the last decade. This one was called "Nobody Can Do it Like McDonald's Can," which replaced the naggingly altruistic "We Do It All For You," which in turn replaced "You Deserve A Break Today," which is sort of the ad jingle business' equivalent of "Hey Jude." That one was big. For this one, the employees got a special insider's pass to hear the new theme song, replicated in several different musical styles including disco, kids' music, pop, and an R&B version that blatantly rips off Rose Royce's "Car Wash."

That's not the best part, though. That happens a few minutes into the record as McDonald's kingpin and Senior Board Member Ray Kroc delivered a personal message to his employees. This was probably not the wisest PR move, and I'm sure there were several VPs running this effort who desperately wanted to keep Kroc off the record. He'd had a stroke the previous year, was in fact only a few years away from death, and didn't really have the slick command of speech that the record's narrator possessed. Nevertheless, his presence looms over the rest of the innocuous goings-on in this 9-minute piece, especially when he ominously warns the employees "Without you as the liaison between the McDonald's corporation and the customer, uh, we're DEAD." Someone, please sample that.


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