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Old 09-21-2003, 04:51 AM   #1
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McDonalds Nation

Does anyone else find this ridiculous?
------------

Big Mac, fries and an order of Choclair

CHRIS SORENSEN
SPECIAL TO THE STAR

There are bound to be uncomfortable moments when the world's largest fast-food chain decides hip-hop is a good way to sell hamburgers. Like when Ronald McDonald yellow clown suit, shock of red hair appears onstage in front of thousands, with a thunderous bass line and a few shout-outs.

"Let's hear you make some noise Markham, Ontario!" Boom-boom-ba-boom. "Let's hear you make some noise Mississauga, Ontario!" Boom-boom-boom. "Let's hear you make some noise Brampton, Ontario!

"Let's see those hands in the air!"

But his baggy clown pants can't mask the fact that he's no 50 Cent.

After a rough 2002 (first-ever quarterly loss, hundreds of restaurants closed), McDonald's Corp. is overhauling its image. Part of the plan: Ontario's largest-ever "crew rally" last Wednesday night, aimed at convincing young McDonald's workers that mammoth corporations can be hip just like the company's new "I'm lovin' it" global marketing campaign.

Not only did the burger giant rent the Air Canada Centre for the event. It paid Choclair, Saukrates, Brass Munk and Baby Blue Sound Crew to pump up 6,000 to 7,000 mostly teenage staffers, many plastered with McDonald's stickers, McDonald's flashing pins, McDonald's flags.

It's a surreal event sometimes it's a concert, sometimes it's a corporate pep rally, most often it's the mangled wreckage left after hip-hop and corporate Canada collide.

Bill Johnson, chief executive of McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Ltd., asks the crowd to watch a pair of giant television screens on either side of the stage. The TVs light up with the opening bars of new ads, plus a "behind-the-scenes" encounter with the company's new pitchman former *NSync heartthrob Justin Timberlake.

Women shriek. Guys heckle. Pouty Timberlake croons, "I don't want to waste your time in a pick-up line ... I'm lovin' it," stretching his tenuous musical credibility.

As the Timberlake segment ends, the live music begins. To their credit, Choclair, Saukrates and Brass Munk treat the gig like any other, stomping back and forth on stage between rhymes, ignoring Ronald's forays into the audience.

McDonald's older managers and executives, volunteers at the rally, sometimes appear bewildered. One clean-shaven man grimaces after Choclair bellows, "It's hip-hop in the house, hell-yeah!"

The McDonald's publicist later jokes, "It's a good thing we went with Justin Timberlake, not Eminem."

But the official message: Mission Accomplished. "I was thrilled with the reaction of our crew people," Johnson says the next day. He knew it was a success when, on his way home, he pulled alongside a rocking car with flags waving from the windows.

McDonald's flags.

From the workers, reviews are mixed. "Most companies don't do something like this," says Rahi Zamani, 23. "This is a really big thing ... they rented out the whole Air Canada Centre for all of us."

"It's the worst place in the world to work," says Andrea Cheng, 20. "The way they make up for it is with stuff like this."

Back up on stage, Baby Blue Sound Crew doesn't seem to mind trumpeting the corporate message at every opportunity. "Let me hear you say, `I'm looooovvvin' it!'" they holler over and over at the crowd, as arena lights search for the slogan on a banner drooping over the stage.

A few employees grumble as they watch their musical genre of choice being co-opted by a giant corporation. Ronald calls out, "Let's hear you make some noi-eeeeze!"

That's enough to make Lannie Skeete groan. "It's just trying too hard to be something you're not," the 18-year-old crew trainer says.
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Old 09-21-2003, 08:29 AM   #2
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Dear God. McDonalds dont get it do they. This smacks of desperation so badly its almost as painful as watching the unfortunate dorky kid in school trying to be hip at the school dance. Except no one feels sorry for McDonalds.
It is unfortunate for the McDonalds corporation that times have changed and people are sick of the golden arches, the false front of a family 'restaurant', the overall saturation of them and their corporate whoring. No one cares anymore. These gimmicks are 80's. Long gone. Passe. These days people move too fast, we carry around bottled water everywhere, McDonalds is only used by regulars who use it for convenience. By them trying to bullshit on with this carefully cultivated image will possibly only turn more away.
Its laughable that they think with such lame gesturing they will mass support by a world population who doesn't give 2 shits about one of the richest global corps around.
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Old 09-21-2003, 08:36 AM   #3
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Re: McDonalds Nation

Quote:
Originally posted by iacrobat
event. It paid Choclair, Saukrates, Brass Munk and Baby Blue Sound Crew to pump up 6,000 to 7,000 mostly teenage staffers
I haven't heard of any of these guys

And Angie, you hit the nail square on the head
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Old 09-21-2003, 09:16 AM   #4
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Re: Re: McDonalds Nation

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Originally posted by bonosloveslave


I haven't heard of any of these guys

That's cos they're canadian.
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Old 09-21-2003, 10:03 AM   #5
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wow...how can any of those hip-hop guys respect themselves now? That is the opposite of the idea of hip-hop

I haven't had McDonalds in years. And I don't plan on it, either
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Old 09-21-2003, 10:12 AM   #6
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I've never liked McDonald's. This doesn't help. How ridiculous can you get??
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Old 09-21-2003, 10:13 AM   #7
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That's loopy. And I agree with what Angela Harlem said.
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Old 09-21-2003, 05:27 PM   #8
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Once a month...I eat McDonalds....and I like it!
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Old 09-22-2003, 02:45 AM   #9
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McDonalds is plain wrong, just wrong.
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Old 09-22-2003, 03:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
Once a month...I eat McDonalds....and I like it!
I haven't eaten there in years...but the thought of a quarter pounder and fries still makes my mouth water.

Maybe the memory is better than the reality.
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Old 09-22-2003, 03:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Basstrap
wow...how can any of those hip-hop guys respect themselves now? That is the opposite of the idea of hip-hop

I haven't had McDonalds in years. And I don't plan on it, either
What is hip-hop then?

Cos if it is what is in the mainstream today, it is as bad as Justin and Britney.

I found this website if anyone is interested in McDonald's practices.

http://www.mcspotlight.org/

It talks about a lawsuit in the UK as well as Ronald's track record on many issues. Pretty cool. Helps me resist McDonalds french fries...mmmm.
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Old 09-22-2003, 12:20 PM   #12
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I consider what is mainstream today to be "rap" or something else other than Hip Hop

hip hop is the real thing.

Run DMC and folk like that. Most true Hip Hop artists are underground these days I guess...

I always thought of it as conveying a positive message...most often a political message or some comment on social injustice
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Old 09-22-2003, 12:38 PM   #13
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I eat McDonald's about once every couple weeks. Nothing can quite beat a Big Mac. I love it.

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Old 09-22-2003, 12:39 PM   #14
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I never thought of Run DMC as underground. I swear I remember them from a Gap commercial.

Maybe Public Enemy? From what little I know, they seemed focused on social justice issues.
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