MSNBC Kicks Off New Ad Campaign, “Lean Forward” (A Spike Lee Joint)


We learned in August that Spike Lee would be helming MSNBC’s latest ad campaign. Now, Lee’s first two commercial spots have been posted online. The ads are slick and upbeat, implying the news network’s progressive leanings without overtly declaring a political stance.

The first ad, titled “Declaration of Forward,” is a montage of celebratory clips—a marching band performing, a couple dancing at their wedding—that plays as a male voice intones, “We hold these truths to be self-evident. But all men and women have certain inalienable rights. Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, and the freedom to believe that while history has gotten us this far”—at this point, we see a clip of the Obama family on Election Night 2008—”our best days are still ahead.” It ends with a series of pictures of different Americans—racially diverse, young, old, male, female—that flash by quickly before the campaign’s motto fills the screen: “Lean Forward.”

The second ad, “Hardwired,” is similar, albeit more grandiose. In quick succession, images representing the life cycle—from sperm meeting egg to children playing to adults getting married—flash onscreen, followed by clips of suffragettes marching and Martin Luther King. The idea here is that human beings are hardwired to be progressive: “After all, we were built to evolve. We were not made to sit still,” says this spot’s female narrator as the ad draws to a close.

See the beginning of Lee’s campaign below.

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[h/t @BDumasonline]

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