Another Internet meme has reached critical mass, this time originating from an unlikely source: it's the corporate anthem of KPMG, a giant accounting company. You would probably not be in the least surprised to find out that the song is an upbeat, orchestral, eighties-style inspirational piece with a female singer and inane lyrics -- but adjectives fail me in describing how hilariously hideous the anthem really is. Wired has a copy up on Akamai and the file size is only 688K, so snarf it now:

http://www.wired.com/news/audio/specials/2001/11/kpmg/kpmg.mp3

Then generate a table of Buzzword Bingo and sing along!

KPMG - We're as strong as can be

Chorus
KPMG - We're as strong as can be,
A team of power and energy,
We go for the gold, together we hold
Onto our vision of global strategy!

Repeat Chorus

We create, we innovate,
We pass the ones that are late
A global dream... this is our dream of success that we create.
We'll be number one, with effort and fun
Together each of us can run
For gold - that shines like the sun in our eyes.

Chorus x 2

The time is now to lead the way,
We share the same the idea
That may win by the end of the day.
Our strength is here to stay.
Identity, one energy,
One strategy, with sympathy.
These are the words that will lead us into a new world.

Chorus x 3

Kay-Pee-Emm-Geee - we got the power...
Ooooh-oohh... 

Warning: Excessive exposure to this tune is debilitating. You will find yourself wide awake in the middle of the night, a female voice whispering "...onto our vision of global strategy!" inside your head on infinite repeat. Then you will start to wonder what on earth these phrases of marketroid lingo really mean. What is a "vision of strategy"? How can it be "global"? How do you hold onto it? And before your tortured eyes a vision will form, a vision of a globe covered with 6 billion Herbert Kornfelds, eyes closed and hands pressed to their temples, little Hitler mustaches twitching in concentration as they visualize the Master Plan of KPMG:

  1. Audit the underwear.
  2. ?
  3. Profit!

And, as a proper meme should, this has already started to mutate: at time of writing remixes include the "Jungle Stylee" mix by DJ Contax, MC Vitamin D's "A Vision of Hard Rock Strategy" mix, and -- worst of all -- the Teutonic Mixmaster industrial remix, with the lyrics dubbed into German! Until recently, all mixes were hosted on corporateanthems.raettig.org, the site that started the craze, but due to excessive interest they are currently offline until further notice, so you'll have to hunt them up with your favorite Napster clone.

While KPMG denies that the song is an "official" corporate anthem, they have grudgingly admitted that they created it for a local marketing campaign in Holland. And now PricewaterhouseCoopers is up in arms since their anthem is only ranked third on the Corporate Anthems website's list...

References

http://corporateanthems.raettig.org
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/28/17436.html
http://www.wired.com/news/business/0%2C1367%2C48874%2C00.html
http://www.fastcompany.com/launch/launch_feature/corporate_songs.html

And thanks to Ashley Pomeroy for fixing the lyrics!

On coming across Chris Raettig's Corporate Anthems website, KPMG responded as follows:

A recent audit of Web sites, to which KPMG is hyperlinked, has revealed that www.corporateanthems.raettig.org contains a link to KPMG's Web site, www.kpmg.com. Please be aware such links require that a formal Agreement exist between our two parties, as mandated by our organization's Web Link Policy.
Chris replied, "I'm not quite sure how a policy on your part translates into action being required on mine. My own organisation's web link policy requires no such formal agreement."

In my opinion, the KPMG email is an example of exactly the kind of corporate stupidity that gave birth to the awful anthem in the first place.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.