Spike Lee directs new MSNBC ads


MSNBC debuted new “Lean Forward” ads 4/25 featuring the network’s four primetime hosts: Chris Matthews, Lawrence O’Donnell, Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz. This second round of ads in the campaign are directed by Spike Lee.

MSNBC also enlisted Minneapolis-based agency Mono. Mono is credited with helping USA Network achieve the No. 1 most-watched cable channel position with its “Characters Welcome” branding campaign nearly five years ago. Oscar-nominated Matthew Libatique from the film ‘Black Swan’ is director of photography for the campaign.

The ads were all shot unscripted, in iconic locations throughout the country. The ads are running on, MSNBC, msnbc.com, cinemas across the country during the peak summer movie season and in cross-channel platforms across NBC Universal.

The video spots will also be seen across broadband video players across targeted digital sites. Separate print and digital ads will also run in major publications. MSNBC says it will continue to roll out an array of new “Lean Forward” ads that will air over the next few months.

“These ads are unlike anything else. They are mini-documentaries that express the passion of our primetime hosts. You’re able to truly learn what drives them and why their audience tunes in to watch their shows,” said Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC.

“Our viewers are looking for champions of progress. They respect, share and seek out our host’s perspective on the issues facing America. This campaign brings our hosts out from behind their desks, showcasing a more personal and authentic view,” said Sharon Otterman, Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President of MSNBC.

Creative details:

Chris Matthews – Spike Lee shot Matthews in Washington D.C, where he candidly discussed the civil discourse in the upcoming 2012 election

Lawrence O’Donnell – Spike Lee shot O’Donnell in New York City, where he opined on the pressing issues of immigration and health care

Rachel Maddow – Spike Lee shot Maddow at the Hoover Dam, where she discussed the importance of having a renewed national focus on infrastructure

Ed Schultz – Spike Lee shot Schultz in his hometown of Norfolk, VA, where he spoke about the problems facing the middle class and the imperative need to create jobs

View the ads here