Aussie tech giant Canva roasted for cringe rap at its Create conference

Australian tech giant Canva is being roasted on social media for commissioning a brilliant rap and breakdancing performance at its glitzy conference in the US.

The $26 billion (AU39.2 billion) design firm, co-founded in Sydney, hosted thousands of clients and employees in an auditorium in downtown Los Angeles for its annual Create event.

But Friday’s gathering felt more like an evangelical service than a presentation, showcasing the site and app redesign, as well as several new tools.

Canva aims to appeal to large companies with enterprise-centric tools, including the ability to batch update corporate documents with new graphics.

To drive home the maelstrom of the troupe, a group of breakdancers in beige jumpsuits burst onto the stage, accompanied by a bespectacled rapper in a red cap who would be right at home in a late 90s rock Eisteddfod.

Canva's very

After dropping some sick rhymes about Canva’s “glow up,” which he explained was being rebuilt “from the floor up” to help businesses “get in the zone,” a woman playing the role of a “skeptical CIO” chimed in. from the audience.

“Hold on, sir!” he sang as he ran onto the stage.

He challenged the unnamed rapper, who we’ll call MC Awkward, with some lyrical nuance about Canva’s security credentials.

“I would like to have some certainty. It’s nice to have some nice shiny things, but can you live up to the demands of a global machine?”

In response, MC Awkward upped the ante by rapping wonderfully about automated licensing and compliance, system integration, personalized APIs, and even data protection for training AI models.

As the battle draws to a close, several dancers shed their tops to reveal pastel T-shirts.

It concludes: “Now we’re on the upswing because Canva is doing everything and we’re having fun. Come on!”

The show lasts two long minutes. The clip made of the sight is now spreading like a virus on the Internet, triggering an avalanche of trolling.

“This is why Australian companies should stop hiring Americans,” commented one critic on X, formerly Twitter.

“Does it have to be so bad it goes viral?” formulated another theory.

And one blurted out: “This is the precursor to the most toxic workplace experience ever.”

“Imagine spending your entire childhood waking up early, traveling, competing…all just to become a professional dancer at Juilliard and then be a backup dancer for a tech rap battle number at Canva’s corporate employee summit,” it reads.

Another commenter joked: “Canva gets it. Rap is very popular right now.”

One noted that the whole thing “has the same energy [as] the groups that come to schools to rap about why ‘drugs are rough”, while another group talked about wanting to burn a legal letter because of ’emotional trauma’.

Early on, there were some hints of a taste of the enthusiasm to come.

Jimmy Knowles, Canva’s Global Head of Experience – whatever that means – took the stage looking “stylish” in a pink velvet suit with oversized boots.

Mr Knowles is reported to have masterminded the Create event.

Behind the scenes, New York Stock Exchange staff reportedly interviewed senior executives and key clients in a private suite next door in more subdued circumstances.

“But the story of Canva’s founding has been told many times before,” reported the Australian Financial Review, which sent a reporter to Create.

“What’s new is that the NYSE wants to tell and cheat Canvá away from its rival, Nasdaq, for a widespread IPO in the next two years.”

Leave a Comment