Ideas

“People are craving joy”: the story of SoulPancake

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SoulPancake is a media and entertainment company founded by Rainn Wilson (aka Dwight Schrute from The Office), Joshua Homnick, and Devon Gundry. The company produces meaningful, happy, quirky content for the masses.

Their video web series and social campaigns feature everyday people – as well as celebrities including Russell Brand, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Mindy Kaling – exploring life’s big questions and issues: what it means to be human, issues of philosophy and faith, and the science of happiness, connection and creativity. SoulPancake strives to break through the negative noise and clutter online to spread joy. Thought-provoking and humorous- it’s nearly impossible to watch their videos without cracking a smile.

Video source: SoulPancake

Since it’s inception in 2009, SoulPancake has created over 85 hours of uplifting content and has surpassed 200 million video views. Their content has been featured on MTV and OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network and has received press coverage on a range of outlets including Ad Age, AdWeek, Forbes, Huffington Post and Buzzfeed. In 2010, the book SoulPancake: Chew On Life’s Big Questions was published and became a New York Times Bestseller.

We wanted to make heart-centered content that made the world a better place… and use the web as a force for good”- Rainn Wilson

Clearly committed to making a positive impact, SoulPancake has raised $2 million for cancer research, provided 3 million meals to the Conagra Food Foundation, and activated more than 1 million people to participate in their Socktober campaign by donating socks to the homeless.

The company was named one of Fast Company’s Top 10 Most Innovative Video Companies of 2015, and ranked #114 on the 2015 Inc.500 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America List. In October 2016 they were acquired by Participant Media production company.

In 2014, our video team caught up with Rainn Wilson and his creative team to showcase their wonderful work.

We are seeing a shift online away from negativity and towards positivity. People are craving joy, they are craving optimism. That’s the kind of content that inspires people, that moves their hearts, that makes them want to be part of a movement and want to change the world and that kind of content is what we are trying to create.”- Shabnam Mogharabi, CEO & Executive Producer

For some more smile-producing content, check out this short video


Jamie Frankenberg

About the Author Jamie Frankenberg

Jamie is a freelance writer and social worker with a background in public relations. She's currently exploring the world and learning about new cultures, connection, and creativity.