The Art And Science Of The Motivational Corporate Anthem

Kate Tolley

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Throughout history, music has often been employed as a morale boosting device. From wartime rallying songs to football terraces to "If you're happy and you know it", we sing to encourage the troops; to celebrate epic victories; to cheer on our favourite team.

Whose battles are more epic, whose victories more heroically won than global corporations with enough spare marketing budget to commission their own soundtrack?

In this talk I will take my audience through the history of the corporate song, from IBM's rousing classic 1937 songbook "Songs Of The IBM" to modern masterpieces such as "We Built This Starbucks (On Heart And Soul)" (it's exactly what it sounds like from the title) and "Symantec Revolution", hailed by the Observer as "The worst song in the history of music (with added sinister corporate overtones)".

I'll explore a number of different musical styles (or at least, attempts at those styles) and try my best to answer the question, "Why? Just...why?"