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October 6, 2010

Lean Forward


Talk about populism! No anchor desk. No furniture at all. Just pull up some carpet.

Compared to the other ads (1, 2), nobody leaning forward as much as Maddow is. Rachel, the flagship.

“Fewer Places To Hide” sounds like retort to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

The bookcase, the glasses, the pen, studying the paper = smart, educated, intellectual, informed … and, not apologizing.

The candid shot. The degree to which we’re given such intimate and access. Call it a  more believable “I’m you” moment.

With Tagline, MSNBC Embraces a Political Identity (NYT)

  • echo

    A muckraker who gets up to her elbows in it.

    Talk about reviewing the facts on the ground !

    Developing a story from the ground up ?

    Ok I’m done now.

    Rachel rocks

  • black dog barking

    Black tee, blue jeans, comfortable shoes — dressed for work. Nothing to hide. “Lean Forward” suggests a different direction where one would expect Left or Right. Progress as opposed to lateral motion (and getting left behind).

  • Malika

    I like the play on the word “hide”: the visual honesty of this. It captures her style and personality and isn’t coy.

  • Enoch Root

    I have no idea what ‘lean forward’ is supposed to mean.

    And Maddow’s name should be larger and at the top. Initially, I thought it was a stock photo. ‘Oh… That’s Rachel Maddow, looking like an undergrad!’

    After it sinks in, it seems nice that they’re trying to get beyond the heavily-made-up news anchor woman face shot, but if I didn’t know what Maddow’s show is, this ad wouldn’t tell me.

    • mroben

      Lean forward means they want you to think it’s tv that makes you lean forward in your seat. It also has the double meaning of progress, as Black Dog Barking said.

  • cmac

    Youth and seriousness – an uncommon pairing.

    The picture makes me think of an engineer or a scientist – a brainiac, for sure – studying a problem.

    This is as far as we can get from the Megyn Kelly/blonde-bombshell-lacking-both-education-and-moral-code model of news personality so dominant in the media these days.

  • Michael Shaw

    I don’t have the frame of reference to talk about the elements of this ad from a Gay/Lesbian perspective except to think it’s also highly significant, likely groundbreaking in that regard.

  • bill

    I love Rachel but this working-on-the-carpet picture does lend an “undergraduate”, less-than-mature air to her. Standing at a messy desk with a stuffed bookshelf in the background would have been much more appropriate, methinks.

  • acm

    why on earth do they have Olbermann leaning back? did they set it up before they settled on the new motto? hello?

    wouldn’t have thought about the GLBT aspect, but of course, one could hear “no closets!” if you want to. the outfit and glasses make me think of that 1950s/60s (Harvard) intellectual look that we were discussing with the Beck cover a few days back. but I agree that it could all be *too* subtle, as I’m a Maddow fan and didn’t even recognize her in this pic…

  • acm

    oh, as to whether it would have been more “grown up” to have her at a desk, (a) they already have that with Olbermann, and (b) this feels more like “we’re not afraid to get our hands dirty,” as well as making clear that the stars are doing some of the heavy lifting in getting the news to you. both strengths of their station/brand/campaign.

  • Barbara Lemaire

    I love the Lean Forward tag line – it is the direction all Americans should agree on! If you watch Rachael you know this is how she dresses when not in a suit jacket.

  • JohnnyACE♠ GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

    Olbermann > Maddow

    So how come Dylan Ratigan’s not part of this new ad campaign? His show rocks.


  • nachomama

    Bwaaahahahahaha Lean Forward my A**. It should say Lean Over

  • Mike

    Does anyone know where I can get one of those bumper stickers that says  Lean Forward, we’re not done…..gotta have one

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