#24 - Corporate Anthems
Hi there! My name is Diego Parrilla. I’m a developer that became an entrepreneur and my latest company is Threatjammer. Subscribe now to my weekly digest about tech, threat Intel, privacy, and security!
Last week I found this enjoyable piece of corporate culture from Telefónica:
I asked my wife -a 25-year worker of Telefónica- if they ever sing this anthem before the daily standups, meetings, or even when they meet Mr. Pallete or previously the venerable Mr. Alierta. In shock and awe, she never heard of anything like an “anthem” in Telefónica. And, of course, they do not sing along any chant in corporate events.
In Spain, where we don’t even have lyrics in our National Anthem, we are not very fond of group singing unless we have enough alcohol in our veins to start the “friendship boosting“ phase of boozing. But what about other countries and corporate cultures? Do they enjoy the chant of praise to their corporations and leaders altogether? What companies have enjoyable anthems to share with the world? Follow me in this dubious hall of corporate shame!
At the beginning of the 20th century, corporate songs were meant to be sung daily and with solemnity. IBM printed a booklet of songs to encourage employees to sing them along. The book Songs of the IBM – Fellowship Songs of International Business Machines Corporation served as a bible that packed all company songs.
Corporate anthems can be something of the early 20th century, but 21st-century songs are usually an elaborated schema of some ill member of Human Resources with the inexcusable help of the Marketing team. The perfect example of this atrocity is the Thank You Facebook Song. In their discharge, they said, “we did spend little money on the video.” I cannot even imagine what they could do with a budget. Please, CFOs, never sign off any budget for this kind of thing.
The Starbucks song is a perfect example of another type of anthem: when the song is written and performed by the band of several high executives of the company. The band’s name is Jefferson Starbucks, and the song was an immediate hit among the members of the high executives’ teams.
McKinsey & Company
The lyrics of this McKinsey song perfectly explain to any Spanish listener the value they give. Do they really hire the smartest??? Who the hell approved this?
The presence of American corporations in this list is blatant -obviously a side effect of their Unrestricted Termination laws.- But I have found an international hit: GAZPROM, the Russian energy company. Vladimir Tumayev, director of the Gazprom subsidiary Spetsgazavtotrans and founder of the company football club, SOYUZ-Gazprom, perpetrates the song. As you can imagine by the neat vocalization of the dude, the lyrics ask us to drink all the Russian gas we can. Epic.
I think it’s enough for today. Feel free to leave a link to your favorite Corporate Anthem in the comments!
The music snippet
Nitzer Ebb was a British cult electronic band from the ’80s. From Essex like Depeche Mode, they shared the same record company (Mute Records) and they toured together. Alan Wilder also produced some of their songs. “Join the chant” was a club hit and a perfect example of Electronic Body Music.
Note: During summer, I will slow down my posting. But I will come back at full speed when September ends!