Bold Content Starbucks Shifts Into Video With “Upstanders” Web Series

“People will feel better about the American story and be reminded that the promise of America is alive and well in your own neighborhood”

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says about the coffee shop giant’s new socially minded web series “Upstanders”. The series features short video documentaries of Americans who are making positive changes in their community.

Upstanders Trailer

The fact that the series touches on politically controversial topics in an election year is likely no co-incidence. Schultz has gone on record as supporting gay marriage and stating that Starbucks should be part of the conversation on race relations in the US. He has also previously stated that “I think it’s obvious Hillary Clinton needs to be the next president”.

Upstanders—Breaking the Prison Pipeline

Upstanders is the brainchild of Howard Schultz and former Washington Post editor Rajiv Chandrasekaran. Rajiv Chandrasekaran, who is co-producer and co-writer of the series, is the author of the prize-winning work “Life in the Emerald City” which was the inspiration for the film Green Zone” starring Matt Damon.

Upstanders—Homes for Everyone

The new video series is available on the Starbucks website at:

Or through the Starbucks YouTube channel:

And the Starbucks app.

In addition, to the video webseries content for Upstanders will include a weekly podcast and written essays around the topics discussed.

Starbucks has followed the recent trend towards minimal branding in it’s videos. Howard Schultz states that “I don’t think there is one physical evidence of a Starbucks cup or logo in the stories”. The series is the latest indicator that brands understand the importance of investing in high quality content to gain attention in an increasingly fragmented advertising market.