Friday, January 06, 2006
Fred the Baker
Occasionally I scan the obituaries in the various newspapers I read to get a sense of history and a bit of education on the lives people led. One passing I completely missed at the end of 2005 was the death of Michael Vale on December 24th at age 83 which two friends highlighted for me this week. In a tribute to Mr. Vale's trademark, "It's time to make the donuts", catchphrase I am completing this posting early in the morning :) http://business.bostonherald.com/businessNews/view.bg?articleid=119484&format=&page=1
The character of "Fred the Baker" at Dunkin' Donuts played by Mr. Vale from 1982 to 1997 was created by advertising executive Ron Berger and has to be deemed a huge success since Dunkin' Donuts went from 1,200 locations to 4,700 locations during the lifetime of this $300 million advertising campaign. The media coverage of Mr. Vale's passing focused on the "Fred the Baker" ad campaign's ability to "connect with the average, hard working person who gets up everyday to do the necessary things........" such as turning on the FRYOLATOR (love that name!!) as one Dunkin' Donuts franchise owner stated.
For me "Fred the Baker" represents a work ethic that is essential for children to learn. If you remember the Dunkin' donuts commercials Fred would wake in a zombie-like state with eyes half-closed starting his day of making the donuts but at the end of the commercial he was serving fresh donuts to customers with a big smile on his face. That is the great message here -- do your job well, serve your customer well, and walk away from the experience with job satisfaction. Welfare reform via former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-Georgia) and former Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) is now ancient history since the TANF (AFDC reform legislation) legislation was enacted in 1996 but in these last 10 years this single government reform has moved millions of people from being welfare recipients collecting checks to contributors to society (NOTE -- "According to the Census Bureau, 3.5 million fewer people live in poverty today than in 1995" - http://www.freedomworks.org/informed/issues_template.php?issue_id=1263) with a new found work ethic that tells them that it is "Time to make the donuts" regardless of their job duties.
Unfortunately the welfare mindset is still alive and well via the obesity law suits against food and beverage companies pursued by the alliance of trial lawyers and the "victim class." We need to remind others that personal choice comes with personal responsibility as evidenced by my choice to go to the gym this morning versus having a donut to reflect on Fred the Baker's passing.