Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Not even Apple is immune to cringey training videos

Illustration for article titled Not even Apple is immune to cringey training videos
Screenshot: cmdrtube (YouTube)

Apple’s marketing machine has done its very best to create a brand whose name immediately conjures up images of high-tech refinement. Its stores are airy, minimally decorated, and its products are advertised with clean, simplistic iconography. All of this is meant to make us think that the company’s somehow different from all the others. A recently rediscovered, absolutely terrible training video extolling the virtues of the EasyPay system shows that this is all bullshit. Apple, in the end, cannot escape the fate that befalls all companies with management desperate to prove their sense of humor and a discretionary fund.

Released in 2006 but somehow still riding the wave of making silly dances set to Haddaway’s “What Is Love” almost a decade post-A Night At The Roxbury, the video manages to fill nearly five entire minutes with some of the worst corporate training imagery ever set to film. After a long, tortured introduction sees a store employee failing to properly use Apple’s payment system to ring up a couple’s stack of monotonously-described software, a man in aviator glasses appears to sing a “What Is Love” cover all about EasyPay.

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“EasyPay! Baby just use it, just use it, some more,” he sings, cradling the point of sale device and pulling uncomfortable faces. Soon enough, he begins shuffling around the store while reciting awkwardly-timed verses, zapping a pair of back-up dancers so they’re wearing almost imperceptibly “cooler” clothes and hamming it up in front of a green screen flashing Winamp media visualizer-style CG effects. The employees asked to play “customers” dance and force smiles. Somebody wears a cardboard EasyPay costume and stands with their arms around the back-up dancers. It all just continues and continues and continues, each second seeming to stretch into hours, until finally it peters out with a last falsetto screech. No information is relayed other than the fact that Apple wants its stores to use EasyPay instead of other forms of payment.

Still, if the point of this whole production was to drill a quota into employees’ heads, the training video does its job. Nobody who watches it, after all, will forget about its existence anytime soon.

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[via The Verge]

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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