Mono Unveils New Brand Campaign for MSNBC

Oct 06, 2010, 11:25 ET from mono

MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- mono, the award-winning Minneapolis-based creative branding and advertising agency, today announces the new brand position, campaign and tagline for cable news giant MSNBC.

The line, "Lean forward" is a simple, yet bold statement designed to impassion MSNBC's audience and urge them to engage with the issues of the day.

The new campaign, based on a vision by MSNBC President Phil Griffin and the largest in the network's history, includes anthemic 60 second TV spots directed by Academy Award Nominee Spike Lee, a national print campaign, as well as station domination campaigns in Grand Central and other train stations in New York City. With headlines like, "It's time to think gigantic," and, "The future belongs to the fearless," the work targets those who believe progress happens when you look forward rather than backwards.

"MSNBC wanted to move from a traditional media company to a thought-leader in the television news space," said mono Managing Partner James Scott. "We believed a campaign with a tone that is positive and hopeful, as well as energetic and confident, would help realize Griffin's vision and clearly define the mission of the network."

For director Spike Lee, the campaign was an opportunity to mix his talents with his beliefs. "It was great to get the call from MSNBC President Phil Griffin and mono. This is a big campaign and it comes at an interesting juncture in American politics. I'm happy to be a part of it."

The campaign also unites MSNBC's on-air personalities under one brand idea.

"We wanted to work with mono because of their passion for simplicity, innovation and storytelling," said Sharon Otterman, the chief marketing officer for MSNBC. "This campaign is as brilliant as it is bold and it carves out an authentic and defendable space for us in the marketplace."

Mono has a proven track record in the network brand space. In 2005, the agency rebranded the USA Network, creating the tagline, "Characters Welcome." Still in use to this day, the new brand and tagline helped USA Network become the number one cable network.

Mono was named agency of record for MSNBC earlier this summer after a competitive review that included many national agencies. The work will begin to air on Oct. 11, 2010.


Built on the worldwide resources of NBC News, MSNBC defines news for the next generation with world-class reporting and a full schedule of live news coverage, political analysis and award-winning documentary programming -- 24 hours a day, seven days a week. MSNBC's home on the Internet is delivers a fuller spectrum of news.  Drawing on its award-winning original journalism, NBC News heritage, trusted sources and Microsoft's advanced technologies, the site presents compelling, diverse and visually-engaging stories on the consumer's platform of choice.

About mono

Michael Hart, Chris Lange and Jim Scott opened mono in 2004 with the belief that simpler is better. A Minneapolis-based company, mono puts the power of simplicity to work to create innovative communications for clients that include Apple, Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day, MSNBC, Rolaids, Blu Dot, General Mills, Parsons The New School for Design, Sesame Street, and the Harvard Business School. For more information, go to

For information contact:

Katherine Roepke

Roepke Public Relations

Melissa Bohlig