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MSNBC.com launches new marketing campaign

As MSNBC.com slowly rolls out a redesign, the site is debuting its first new branding campaign since it launched. “A Fuller Spectrum of News” is the slogan and the artistic concept behind the TV, print and online ad campaign. “(It) speaks to MSNBC.com’s rich consumer experience, an online environment no other news site offers,” said Catherine Captain, VP of marketing. “It’s designed to bring to life compelling, original and even quirky stories, and showcase the diversity of media, sources and platforms consumers discover on the site.” One cool feature in the ad campaign is the banners will incorporate live RSS feeds from the site. And as we mentioned earlier, you can download a RSS screensaver as well as play the NewsBreaker game. If you didn’t see it before, here’s a link to MSNBC.com’s new video ad. Press release…

PRESS RELEASE — REDMOND, Wash. — April 2, 2007 — Msnbc.com today launched A Fuller Spectrum of News — its first branding campaign since inception — which exemplifies the captivating journey and multiple perspectives of news, entertainment and information consumers explore on the site.

“Msnbc.com inspires consumers to explore the ever-unfolding human story,” said Catherine Captain, vice president of marketing, msnbc.com. “The Fuller Spectrum of News campaign speaks to msnbc.com’s rich consumer experience, an online environment no other news site offers. It’s designed to bring to life compelling, original and even quirky stories, and showcase the diversity of media, sources and platforms consumers discover on the site.”

A Fuller Spectrum of News, created with New York-based strategic communications firm SS+K, takes consumers on a lively and colorful journey through msnbc.com. The cross-platform campaign is comprised of broadcast, print and online executions, including banner ads, an online game and an interactive screensaver, in addition to the first branded in-cinema motion sensor game.

“The thing people really love about msnbc.com is the wide range of stories, from Iraq to Angelina Jolie,” said Marty Cooke, chief creative officer, SS+K. “Color is a great metaphor and gave us a dynamic way to illustrate the rich variety on the site beyond using the obvious news photos.”

The TV spot titled “Spectrum,” designed with New York animation house Charlex, is msnbc.com interpreted in picture and sound, showcasing a vivid color spectrum of bricks moving in a wave-like motion that comes alive to illustrate the breadth, depth and variety of content and multimedia on the site. The :30 second spot will appear on national cable and satellite TV. Promotional spots titled “Spectrum Wall” and “Spectrum Rain” will run across msnbc.com’s parent company properties, including both broadcast and online NBC properties, as well as MSN.

The print and online portions of A Fuller Spectrum of News illustrate how each msnbc.com story is just one hue in a much larger spectrum of news. There are 33 unique print executions reflecting the wide range of news msnbc.com covers. Each print ad features a full-color spectrum of bricks. Below each spectrum are two different colored bricks singled out, each connected to an actual news headline from msnbc.com. The juxtaposed headlines illustrate the unexpected range of content that msnbc.com’s news explorers love. For example, in one execution appearing in Newsweek the headlines below the spectrum read: “Swiss troops invade Liechtenstein by mistake” and “Antiwar demonstrators rally in D.C.” The print campaign also features two column “goal post” ads, which will be directly associated with the editorial they surround. Print executions will appear in Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, The New Yorker, Time, and U.S. News and World Report.

The online ads, developed with Boston-based digital shop BEAM, feature four animated spectrum banner concepts, two of which incorporate live msnbc.com RSS feeds offering the site’s latest news headlines. The banners will be seen on high-impact news, weather, sports, entertainment and product-review sites across the Web, including ESPN, The Onion, Entertainment Weekly, Rotten Tomatoes, Gawker and CNET.com among others.

Additionally, msnbc.com will introduce elements into the campaign that allow consumers to engage more deeply in the fuller spectrum of news. “NewsStream,” an interactive screensaver also fueled by msnbc.com’s RSS feed, delivers headlines directly to the consumer’s desktop throughout the day. Consumers can customize the screensaver to deliver news based on their interests, allowing them to interact with the brand in a highly personal manner.

“NewsBreaker,” an online RSS-fed game developed with Fuel Industries, will allow the consumer to interact with the day’s headlines from msnbc.com in a unique, fun and engaging way. The goal of the game, launching on April 13, is to accumulate points and knowledge by capturing headlines broken out of the msnbc.com spectrum of stories. Players can browse the collected headlines further within the game or choose to be directed to the msnbc.com site for the entire story. NewsBreaker will also appear as the first branded audience participatory in-cinema game in May and June in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and White Plains, NY.

“This campaign is intentionally different and unexpected for a news organization,” said Captain. “It’s driven by our consumers who say the site offers them the most variety and a more engaging experience. From their perspective only msnbc.com can claim this space, and that’s what we’re doing with the campaign.”

To see elements of A Fuller Spectrum of News campaign, please visit www.spectrum.msnbc.com.

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