MSNBC overhauls ‘this is who we are’ campaign with new look, sound

MSNBC has rolled out a major new look and sound for its popular and long running “this is who we are” promos.

The cable network began using the line several years back as part of promos that typically included what would become a trademark musical bed (which has still never been definitively identified) and a mix of still and motion clips and typography.

In 2019, NBC News started using the tagline as well — and a wide variety of spots, with various modifications in the music, look and feel and typography were produced across both NBC and MSNBC.

Some focused on specific topics or shows (“Today” got multiple versions of its own) and would often use a variety of statements starting with “this is” before revealing the “This is who we are” tagline at the very end.

The format was also modified for positive, uplifting pieces throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

Now, MSNBC is airing a completely new take on the campaign using the blue, white and yellow look similar to the graphics for its rebranded “MSNBC Reports” blocks that replaced “MSNBC Live” in late March 2021.

The new look definitely has more more graphical elements, including textured backgrounds and simulated “highlighting” and “underlining.”

The initial version spotted in the wild focuses on the network’s use of “experts, not influence” and showcases MSNBC anchors and analysts. 


Meanwhile, the old-style versions of the campaign continue to air, including frequently popping up on the mostly promo-filled breaks on NBC News Now and Today All Day, two of NBC News Digital’s streaming efforts.

The music is still fairly slow paced, but a bit more “bubbly.”

The music used in this promo was not immediately identified either.

The use of subdued or no color is also gone — instead clips appear in what appear to be full color. Stills with a “Ken Burns” effect aren’t included in the “experts” version. 

The spot also only uses one sentence that starts with “This is…” and it appears in large, almost oversized condensed typography near the end reading “This is what we do” before “do” is replaced with “are” and its shrinks down significant next to an all white MSNBC logo, which has a “painted” effect applied to it. 

Other promos have popped up with the new color scheme, including one for the network’s “MSNBC Daily” digital feature.