Starbucks spreads positivity with brand journalism

This event report outlines how Starbucks, the coffee-house chain, has moved into brand journalism with its "Upstanders" content series.

Starbucks spreads positivity with brand journalism

Stephen WhitesideWarc

Starbucks gives millions of customers an early-morning caffeine boost or space to relax during a busy day - and it is now applying similar logic to America's media habits through a foray into what it perceives as positive online journalism.

In September 2016, as the presidential election inflamed social tensions, the coffee-house chain launched the "Upstanders" series. Ten digital videos - coming in at roughly five or six minutes apiece - focused on ordinary people doing inspiring things, such as:

  • the impoverished village of Baldwin, Michigan giving out college scholarships;
  • Christians...

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