MSNBC hires new ad agency

The Star-Tribune is reporting that Minneapolis-based Mono has been hired as the new ad agency for MSNBC.

Mono is the agency behind MSNBC’s sister cable channel USA Network’s “Characters welcome” tagline. That tagline apparently sits well with both USA Network management and viewers — it’s been in use for five years.

Hopefully Mono can come up with a good, memorable tagline that makes sense. From a strategic standpoint, it seems like a wise move on MSNBC’s part to explore new advertising and branding opportunities in light of competitor CNN’s recent stumbles in the ratings.

MSNBC has struggled a bit with its taglines over the past few years. Its much hyped “A Fuller Spectrum of News” campaign has all but fizzled out and current favorite “America’s Fastest Growing News Channel” may tout the network’s growth but really isn’t memorable or brand-building.

Personally, I never liked the “fuller spectrum” campaign since it, first and foremost, doesn’t really make sense grammatically. Plus, it always seemed odd that MSNBC would claim to be “fuller” (not really a word) rather than “THE full spectrum of news.” Though it’s worth nothing the word “spectrum” is a nice allusion to NBC’s historic reputation of being the “colorful” network and also ties in with the NBC network slogan of “More colorful.”

MSNBC also heavily uses “The Place for Politics,” which is a catchy, memorable name but lacks the ability to really be a blanket brand, especially during periods of slow political news.