MSNBC Targeting Progressives in ‘Lean Forward’ Campaign

October 5, 2010

(ChattahBox Entertainment News)— MSNBC, a cable news network in search of an identity, seems to have found its sweet spot with liberal leaning news shows. With its prime-time political lineup of Keith Obermann’s Countdown, the Rachel Maddow Show and The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC has surpassed CNN in prime-time viewers and is on track to beat its longtime rival during the entire day. Although still falling behind the conservative outlet Fox News, MSNBC is now secure in the number two spot. And what better way to tout its ratings success, as it leaves CNN in the dust, than with a slick new multimillion-dollar ad campaign directed by Spike Lee? The ad campaign starting today, is designed to imprint MSNBC with a new progressive brand, with the tagline “Lean Forward.” MSNBC president Phil Griffin, says the campaign announces to viewers that “We’re confident. We’re strong. Let’s not live in the past, let’s not live by fear.”

Starting on Tuesday, a series of ads, some featuring MSNBC hosts, such as Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann, will air on the network, on other channels, online and on ads in subways and buses.

The tagline “Lean Forward” is meant to paint an image of the ideas of tomorrow instead of the past.

“In its simplest form, it’s a tagline,” said MSNBC president Phil Griffin. “You will see it on-air, in promotions and in advertisements. In the broader sense, however, Lean Forward captures the spirit of everything we do and everything we believe. It’s about celebrating the best ideas, no matter where they come from; that tomorrow can, in fact, be better than today.”

Sharon Otteman, the network’s chief marketing officer, said that “MSNBC wants to be the champion for those who believe in progress.”

And in one of the ads, the network borrows from the words of President Obama used in a speech last year, saying “We can go backward, or we can keep moving forward.” “And I don’t know about you, but I want to move forward.”

And The New York Times reports other spots feature feel-good images and patriotism.

“Two 60-second television commercials that introduce the message are patriotic and poignant. One begins with a child learning how to walk and intersperses scenes of war, rescues in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, a peace protest and the moon landing. “When we understand the world around us, we lose our fear and we move ahead,” the narrator says.”

The ads were shown to MSNBC employees today, during a kickoff event to launch the new campaign.


2 Responses to “MSNBC Targeting Progressives in ‘Lean Forward’ Campaign”

  1. Gray on October 13th, 2010 6:58 am

    “Lean forward and pick up the soap for Fox” won’t bring them the respect of progressives! This isn’t a battle cry, that’s weak and defeatist. For heaven’s sake, who came up with that lousy slogan? Fire the ad agency asap!

  2. LESNVEGAS10 on March 29th, 2011 10:21 pm

    once the republicans found out that [ ” W ” ] Had a 6th grade mentality , they thought , ” HEY ” IM THAT SMART , I THINK I’LL RUN FOR PRESIDENT TOO. so here they ,are, donald ,sarah, michelle , tim , mike , rudy , newt , ALL OF THEM TOGETHER ARE NOT AS SMART AS PRES. OBAMA.

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