Fox News' Move Forward Campaign, a Study in Pointlessness

Last Updated Oct 21, 2010 10:23 PM EDT

The new Fox News ad campaign "Move Forward" may be that rare occasion where there's no solid business reason to advertise in the face of a campaign from a competitor. A riff on MSNBC's recently-launched "Lean Forward" campaign, it's completely pointless. We're not to believe, are we, that in these polarized times an MSNBC viewer seeing this campaign would actually switch to Fox News? (The ads themselves are below - Update: the video is only of one of them.)

Of course not. So what is the point? To engage in a corporate pissing match, just because you're Fox News and you can. The fact is there is no real competition between Fox News and MSNBC. If you think I'm saying that because of ratings, you're only partially right. While it's true Fox News has several times more viewers than MSNBC on the average night -- for instance, on Monday, it was 1.3 million for Fox News to MSNBC's 400,000 -- the other point is that the two audiences are mutually exclusive. If there are people who watch both Fox News' Sean Hannity and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, they probably religiously watch one and sometimes sample the other -- just to make sure they're keeping track of what the other side is saying before reaching for the remote in disgust.

So, could you say the same thing about MSNBC's campaign? Is it pointless? Not really. Even though it's been known as the liberal antidote to Fox News for a few years now, the network needed to fully claim its territory, which it does with the new campaign. Fox News, with this campaign, is just showing off.


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