NewsNation spells it out in crossword game-inspired promo

Nexstar’s NewsNation is building upon its Jenga-themed promo with one that spells out its key points in the form of a crossword board game.

Like with the tower stacking game spot, this Scrabble-inspired promo modifies the game’s letter tiles and board layout to avoid any intellectual property issues. 

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“This game may look like just a bunch of words, but cable news media know better. There’s spin and division; pits one side against the other. The end game is a deep distrust in the news,” as keywords gently fall into place on the board in a crossword pattern.

“At NewsNation, we hold ourselves to a higher standard. Fact-based news you can trust. See why more people are turning to the fastest-growing cable news network and coming back to the news. NewsNation: News for all America.”

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During the “fastest-growing” mention, these words are depicted lined up on racks similar to the ones players use in Scrabble to hold their letter tiles and prevent others from seeing what characters they are holding.

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Mattel, which owns the Scrabble brand, is known for being protective of direct copies of its board game and tile design — so it’s notable that the tiles used in this promo don’t feature the point numbers in the lower right corner as the official game ones do.

The similar but unrelated digital game Words with Friends purposefully moves its point values to the upper right avoid running afoul with Scrabble as well as using a different board layout with different bonus square locations.

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Although the bonus tiles are not specifically identified in the NewsNation promo, at least some colored squares on the board seem inspired by the Scrabble board — but with a notable exception: Bold blue ones are used to form the pattern of the network’s trademark bracket elements.

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