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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

Notes To My Younger Self with Variety & AHA

Entered in Branded Series


Celebrities sat down with Variety and the American Heart Association to discuss their experience with chronic stress and how it has affected them throughout their life, from childhood to present day. During the intimate conversations, talent were presented with photos of themselves over the years. With each photo, talent discussed what age they were, what their life was like, how stress manifested in their body and mind, how they managed (or didn't) stress, and what they learned from the experience. At the end of each interview a fresh new portrait was taken of the talent to commemorate their progress so far, kicking off the next stage of their stress management and heart health journey.  

The objective of this campaign was to feature diverse faces and personalities detailing their experiences with stress, spreading the word about how stress can impact heart health and the resources that the American Heart Association has to offer for managing stress and prioritizing heart health. We were also passionate about the “edutainment” value of the series and hoped the audience would learn from the talent's experiences and consider how there may be parallels in their own life. This campaign aimed to show how chronic stress affects everyone, even when things may seem perfect on the surface. 

Strategy and Execution

Our team’s plan of action for the Notes to My Younger Self series was to reach out to our Variety’s network of connections to procure a line-up of interesting, diverse talent who have had brushes with heart-related illnesses themselves or through their families, and who could speak about those experiences from a unique perspective.  

We were so lucky to connect with all of our Season 1 talent. They each brought their own style of storytelling, had insightful advice for our viewers, and showed the world that no matter who you are, where you're from, or what your profession is (and whether you’re considered a “celebrity”), you always need to prioritize heart health. 

The biggest challenge for our team – which turned out to be our biggest strength – was booking the most impactful mix of talent. We made sure we prioritized diversity and variations in lifestyle, culture and personality when securing talent to show that people’s experiences with heart health can vary from person to person. 


We successfully booked and filmed a diverse lineup of incredible talent including Alyssa Milano (actor/activist/mental health advocate), Josh Peck (actor/mental health advocate), Melissa Fumero (actor/mental health advocate), Karamo Brown (TV personality/social worker/mental health advocate), and Amber Riley (actor/musician/mental health advocate). (Hayley Kiyoko (actor/musician/mental health advocate) was added to the series but her episode did not publish until 1/18/24.). The first 5 videos published in the series garnered over 13 million impressions in their first 2 weeks across video, display, email and social. 


Video for Notes To My Younger Self with Variety & AHA

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