Starbucks Enters New Media With Original Series

With today's debut of "Upstanders," Starbucks is officially a media company. "Upstanders" is a new Starbucks original series inspires positive change amidst cynicism in America. Starbucks CEO and Chairman Howard Schultz and Rajiv Chandrasekaran, senior vice president for Public Affairs and the executive producer of the company's social impact media initiatives, stopped by BUILD Series NYC today to discuss this project with Arianna Huffington.

When Starbucks debut their mobile app, there was talk of them becoming a tech company. Their intention was never to become a tech company, just to become relevant. Investments in top tech was essential to communicate with millennials. The Starbucks app (the same one you use to order ahead/pay) will now include uplifting stories. "Howard and I have written essays, 5 minute mini documentaries, recording 10 podcast episodes, the first of which goes live today." - Rajiv Chandrasekaran.

Isn't this just branded content? Well, no. It's storytelling. This is not an initiative to say "look at the great products of Starbucks." "This is storytelling in the public interest."

How do they decide what makes a good story for "Upstanders?" Stakes. Each of the stories has a "choice" element in them. The character has to make a choice. The stories are also about an idea we can all learn something from.

Watch the entire interview at