The partnership is, in essence, a meeting of minds, given that HP’s Generation Impact and Seventeen’s Voice of Change have shared and overlapping missions. “HP recently accelerated its sustainable impact goals,” says Angela Matusik, head of corporate brand, content and creative at HP, “including a pledge that focuses on digital equity. Part of that work is to continuously reach out to young, diverse audiences and encourage STEM career paths. When we learned about the Seventeen audience and its Voice of Change platform, we knew our goals were aligned and they would help us reach Gen Z communities.”
Seventeen, which was founded in 1944 and was once one of the largest-circulation monthly magazines in the U.S., is now a multiplatform digital brand that draws more than 5 million monthly uniques to its website and has 5.5 million Facebook followers, 3.9 million on Snapchat, 3.2 million on TikTok, 2.39 million on YouTube and 2.2 million on Instagram. “The Coder” was initially released online in mid-June by HP, but subsequent films in the series will have synchronized debuts across HP’s and Seventeen’s platforms.
Kristin Koch, Seventeen’s editor-in-chief, tells Ad Age that her team has been making it an editorial priority to “celebrate young people making a difference in their communities and in the world while pursuing their dreams” through the Voice of Change franchise and the annual Voices of the Year honors. “So we are thrilled to partner with HP to continue to help tell these amazing stories.”
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Nancy Berger, senior VP and publishing director at Seventeen, says she is “completely in awe” of the young creators in the HP-Seventeen spotlight. “It gives me so much hope about our future. I couldn’t be more inspired by the stories that we are sharing and I know that our audience will be inspired too.”
The second film in the series, “The Inventor,” is about Easton LaChappelle, who developed True Limb, the world’s most affordable and lightweight prosthetic limb, using 3D-printing technology; it’s slated for release in the fall.
Though “The Coder” and the follow-up docs are relatively long for the TikTok era, Koch notes that Seventeen, in addition to featuring them in full on its platforms, will be highlighting excerpts across social media and setting up takeovers by the documentary subjects on TikTok and Instagram Stories. “We want to give our audience an opportunity to learn more about these inspirational individuals in a more personal way,” she says.
As part of the partnership, HP is providing support to Unlock Academy through the HP Foundation, HP’s philanthropic grant-making arm.
“Generation Impact: The Coder” was directed by documentary filmmaker Samantha Knowles, and was executive produced by Emmy-winner and Oscar-nominee Steven Cantor and Stick Figure Productions. Entertainment marketing agency Passion Point Collective worked with HP on the creation of the docuseries. Funding was provided by The Garage by HP, a brand-journalism division that Matusik calls “the editorial voice of the company” with a focus on “storytelling that aims to inspire people about the future.”
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