Old training videos — educational (kind of) and entertaining (not really).

Throwback Thursday: Wendy’s old training videos

Throwback Thursday: Wendy’s old training videos

April 30, 2015
by Mark Drager

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Think back to your first job. Maybe you flipped burgers and stood over a deep fryer on a hot summer’s day, or spent your evenings folding T-shirts at Old Navy. Either way, you surely endured your share of cringe-worthy moments at those jobs. And there was surely nothing more cringe-worthy than those old training videos they’d make you watch.

Wendy’s certainly took the cake in that department. Strap yourselves in, because you’re about to learn some grill skills.

Oh man, where to start? Even in the 80s, this was parody-level bad humour. And effects. And costumes. And… oh boy.

More importantly, though, is anyone else concerned that something as vital as working with meat at a grill probably shouldn’t be taught through a rap? It seriously took about three run-throughs to realize that the line is “A grill set at two-five-oh.” As in, set at 250. Okay, good to know. Maybe they should have just calmly said, “Set the grill at 250” to avoid undercooked meat, lawsuits and, potentially, death.

Whoever was commissioned to write this song, we hope they got a big bonus for “Most of all, you’ve got to have your tool.”

(Is there anything more uncomfortable than close-ups of someone’s mouth while they’re singing?)

Now, maybe it’s just the bad picture quality, but this video doesn’t exactly make Wendy’s burgers look appetizing. Or like burgers at all, really. They just look like floppy pink sheets.

It’s probably a good thing that Wendy’s decided to basically repeat the entire song in spoken word to make things more clear (because seriously, proper meat grilling temperatures are no joke). But in that case, what was even the point of that rap? Was it something along the lines of, “We need to reach the kids! Hey, kids like listening to raps, right?”

Clearly, because this was far from Wendy’s only foray into the world of popular music.

“Keeps the foam down, now isn’t that clever?” Not as clever as this rap, that’s for sure.

On one hand, training videos have come a long way and we’re really happy about that. They’re less concerned about looking “cool” (perhaps they’ve figured out, at long last, the secret of teenagers: they will never think anything is cool. Ever) and are now just concerned about showing people how to do to things and how to do them right.

On the other hand, though? What an era this was. After all, the signature quality of your first summer job is that it’s supposed to be terrible and cringe-worthy. That’s what bonds the workers so well together (isn’t that the entire premise of the film Aventureland?). What are terrible summer jobs without terrible training videos?

About the Author

Mark Drager

Strategy & Creative Development, Founder | PHANTA

Running a digital marketing agency based on the premise that mediocrity is not an option. Real business results can be achieved and true value can be delivered to clients. Mark can be reached at mark@phanta.com

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