NBC's news channel MSNBC offers up the next level of its "Lean Forward" campaign -- featuring another round of commercials shot by filmmaker Spike Lee. The new messaging will run in theaters this summer.
New commercials, which will air starting Monday, April 25, are unscripted in various locations around the country. They feature MSNBC prime-time hosts -- Chris Matthews, Lawrence O'Donnell, Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz.
While the commercials are running on MSNBC and msnbc.com immediately, the cable news network plan is to also run them in theaters to utilize the high-volume summer box-office business. In addition, the TV spots will run across a number of NBC Universal TV networks, as well as all broadband video players and in print.
Commercials include Chris Matthews talking about civil discourse in the upcoming 2012 election in Washington; Lawrence O'Donnell on immigration and health care issues; Rachel Maddow -- at Hoover Dam -- talking about national infrastructure; and Ed in his hometown of Norfolk, Virginia talking about the middle class and the need for jobs.
The "Lean Forward" tagline started up last fall, with the network looking to widen its scope behind its previous on-air message: The Place for Politics. MSNBC executives believe the "Lean Forward" moniker attaches itself better to consumers/viewers.
The cable network started up its own marketing team in 2009 to boost more value into the cable network brand.
The network says in addition to noted filmmaker Spike Lee, MSNBC enlisted Oscar-nominated "Black Swan" DP Matthew Libatique to serve as director of photography for the campaign, along with ad agency Mono.