Dave Carroll

Singer-Songwriter and author of “United Breaks Guitars”

Dave Carroll is an award-winning singer-songwriter and social media innovator who transformed a self-produced $150 music video into a viral hit watched by over 150 million people worldwide.

Dave’s United Airlines flight had just landed when a fellow passenger looked out the aircraft’s window at baggage handlers and gasped, “My god…they’re throwing guitars out there!” When 9 months’ worth of calls and emails to United failed to net Dave compensation for $1,200 of damage to his guitar, he took matters into his own hands and posted the music video “United Breaks Guitars” to YouTube.

Within days, the creative, low-cost effort had millions of views and resulted in a storm of bad PR for United; their stock plunged and cost shareholders $180 million. In the process, Dave’s video became the #1 music video in the world for that month in July 2009 and was described as “one of the most important in Google’s history.” Within one week, it received 3 million views and mainstream news coverage followed, including CNN, The Wall Street Journal, BBC, the CBS Morning Show and others.

United Breaks Guitars is even a case study at Harvard Business School.

Now a speaker in over two dozen countries around the world and counting, this Halifax, Canada native with 20 years’ experience in the music business shows audiences how his story is really one of brand building and self-efficacy, and why organizations that embrace connectedness and accountability become more innovative and successful.

Further, his speaking program is both a presentation and a personalized concert, because Dave incorporates live music performances into his keynotes to engage audiences and demonstrate the power of messaging using song.

Dave has been featured in additional media around the world, including on The View, 20/20, and in The LA Times, The Chicago Tribune, and Rolling Stone. He has testified (and sung) on Capitol Hill in Washington, and delivered keynotes at Columbia University’s Brite Conference, TEDx Hoboken, SXSW Interactive, NewComm Forum, Mesh Conference, Atlantic Brand Confabulation, and at many other significant customer service and corporate events. He is also the author of United Breaks Guitars: The Power of One Voice in the Age of Social Media.

Speaking program details

During his presentation, Dave shares his airline experience…starting with the navigation of a frustrating customer service maze…to the launch of his first of three United Breaks Guitars videos…along with the resulting media frenzy. He explains how the video impacted a range of industries and how its timeless takeways are compelling and relevant to professionals in marketing, customer service, branding and social media.

He also shows how your organization can boost revenue by improving customer service, and how embracing social media benefits your brand. Even more so, Dave encourages organizations to employ social media as a marketing opportunity to co-create brands for the benefit of all.

This story—one that has even become a case study at Harvard Business School—has been called “a unique expression of a universal truth” because it resonates with the members of virtually any business or organization.

And Dave’s relaxed, authentic, and humorous delivery fosters a compelling, entertaining and educational experience. In what is both a talk and a personalized concert, Dave incorporates a live music performance to engage audiences and demonstrate the power of messaging using song.

Your audience will leave knowing we are all inherently connected, that social media allow us to experience those connections, and that if you can energize a network with genuine caring, then everyone–from shareholders to employees to consumers–will benefit from even one person’s efforts.

Travels from: Nova Scotia, Canada