Janelle Monáe Helps Morgan Stanley Broaden Its Horizons

'Old school grit. New world ideas'

"Prizefighter meets trailblazer. Classic meets modern. At Morgan Stanley, we seem like a contradiction. And we are."

Janelle Monáe's assured narration drives a new brand film from Morgan Stanley that anchors the investment firm's first global campaign in four years. Dubbed "Old School Grit. New World Ideas," it positions the company as a scrappy, multifaceted partner, primed to help customers over the financial long haul. 

Scenes with boxers, runners and businesspeople glide across the screen, along with footage of diverse folks living their best lives (thanks at least in part to Morgan Stanley, of course).

"At 87 years old, we still see the world with the wonder of new eyes, helping you discover untapped possibilities," Monáe says. She really elevates the message, sounding classy, confident and conversational throughout. We could listen to her all day long.

"Not only is Janelle an incredibly talented singer, songwriter and actor, she's someone who truly embodies the grit and vision showcased in this campaign, unapologetically charting her own path, overcoming obstacles and blazing trails," says Morgan Stanley CMO Alice Milligan. "As such, she’s relatable and appeals to the next-gen audience we're trying to engage."

Monáe's dulcet tones and the images supplied by directing team Salsa (Diego Santana Claudino and Guto Azevedo) yield a soothing vibe. This supportive, reassuring vibe feels appropriate in an increasingly complex marketplace.

"We have an immensely strong brand to start with, but the addition of new products and platforms that serve everyone from self-directed investors to companies undergoing IPOs has been a game changer," Milligan says. "We're intently focused on integrating those brands, and positioning the firm as a 'house of brands' for the future that leverages all of our resources as one team to help our clients uncover new opportunities."

Various campaign elements break this week across broadcast, digital, audio and OOH platforms including the NYT, WSJ, CNN, Bloomberg, CNBC, Forbes, FT, Pandora and Spotify.


Brand: Morgan Stanley
Agency: Lippincott

Chief Creative Officer: Brendán Murphy
Senior Partner Strategy: Rose Baki
Senior Strategist: Sarah Tran
Creative: Aurelio Saiz
Copywriter: Matthew Coleman
Motion Designer: Blake Kilker
Head of Production / Executive Producer: Noah Posnick
Senior Post Producer: Laura Benjamin
Senior Business Affairs Manager: Whitney Vose

Production: Raucous Content
Director: Salsa (Diego Santana Claudino & Guto Azevedo)
Executive Producer: Steve Wi

Production Service: 24/7
Executive Producer: Niklas Murray
Producer: Tanya Sokolova
Photographer: Pep Avila

Edit: Work Editorial
Editor: Ben Jordan

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