McDonald’s today unveiled a new TV commercial that showcases successful individuals whose first jobs were at McDonald’s. The “My First” spot features people from around the world who started their careers at McDonald’s. Among the featured talent at the press conference for the commercial debut were 10-time Olympic track and field medalist Carl Lewis, Canadian fashion photographer Carla LaBrosse, United Kingdom fireman Carl Smeaton, and McDonald’s franchisee Leo Lopez from Florida. In addition, A&M recording artist and actress Macy Gray offered her reflections on working her first job at McDonald’s in a videotaped message.

The commercial includes crew members from around the world who started at McDonald’s, with representation from Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and the U.S.

The new ad is the latest example of McDonald’s ongoing commitment to its people and communicates the many ways McDonald’s provides opportunity under the Golden Arches. Opportunity at McDonald’s was a key focus of the company’s 50th anniversary celebration this past April and is one of McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner’s top priorities.

“I worked as a McDonald’s crew person and there is so much more to working at McDonald’s than people know,” former McDonald’s crew member and singer/actress Macy Gray said in a press release. “The action, the fun, the people, the sense of accomplishment – it truly was My First big break!”

Rich Floersch, McDonald’s executive vice president for Human Resources, and Larry Light, McDonald’s executive vice president and global chief marketing officer, premiered the commercial during McDonald’s Global Human Resources Conference held in Chicago this week and attended by 200 McDonald’s HR professionals from 48 countries.

“The people featured in the My First ad are just a few examples of the millions of opportunities created by our great brand,” Floersch said in the press release. ”McDonald’s offers world-class training, great benefits and skills that will last a lifetime, whether you grow within or outside of our system.”

“Working at McDonald’s really helped lay the foundation for my career,” added ten-time Olympic track and field medalist and former McDonald’s crew member, Carl Lewis. “It was the place where I learned the true meaning of excelling in a fast-paced environment and what it means to operate as part of a team.”

Others included in the commercial are: Ivan Renema (Amsterdam, professional dancer); Amaru Lamas (The Netherlands, courtroom clerk); Monique Christakis (Canada, radiologist); Sarah Coup (Canada, police officer); Derek Parra (USA, professional speed skater); Andreas Baesler (Germany, opera director); Suguru Otake (Japan, professional artist); Alison Bray (Australia, airline pilot); Tereza Hlavacov (Prague, current McDonald’s crew member); and Darris Bolden (Amsterdam, deejay).

“McDonald’s has revitalized the brand with two key strategies – leadership marketing and operational excellence,” Light said. “My First brings both strategies to life, because this campaign is intended to inspire our employees, attract new ones and show our customers that if you begin your career at McDonald’s, the sky is the limit.”

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