Cannes Lions

NBC News Digital Revamp

CODE AND THEORY, New York / NBC / 2019

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As the media landscape continues its long march toward digital, we need to reconsider why, when, and how people consume news. With the ever growing supply of bite size content consumption options available, we needed to simultaneously restate our value while capturing readers’ attention amongst competitors both old and new.

After working alongside stakeholders and digging into business requirements, the path forward led to a visually evolved system that was at once both striking and engaging, yet flexible enough to create a distinct look for each of NBC News properties. To accomplish this, we had to create a system of functional building blocks that could elevate the extensive library of existing assets and evolve our understanding of how advertising could become an integral part of NBC News’ storytelling.


As with any redesign, a core focus was revisiting the design system and building something more visually and interactively pleasing to the audience. A big component in solving this problem lay in the structure of the homepage itself. All news is not created equal, so we built a homepage structure to reflect that. Instead of a static template that simply pulls the news in as it comes, we created a robust Curator tool in the CMS, so that editors can easily give weight to bigger news stories, and scale down to showcase more content on a slower day. They can see these changes inline through a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) module, leading to huge efficiencies in editorial workflow.


The agency colocated with the NBC News team in order to quickly and efficiently meld ideas and iteratively launch the work. With a blended product, strategy, design, and technical team, we were able to rethink and evolve existing paradigms.

Our efforts started on a small patch of digital real estate, and continued to grow as new ideas were either proven or scrapped along the way. With our core concepts proven out, we expanded the design system to meet the even larger needs of NBC News’ flagship sites:,, and

We worked to create and implement a shared future vision for each brand that, while unique, incorporated the same common system that had evolved from the three verticals. After successfully implementing a fresh design language and strategy, we turned our efforts to NBC News’ Snapchat Show, “Stay Tuned,” the first daily-news program of its kind.


The redesign is distributing more traffic across all NBC brands within our news portfolio with NBC News Digital Sites internal referrals increasing by triple digits (+110%). There has been more than 1M+ additional visits across all 3, and

These referrals are also driving more video consumption with MSNBC visits driving 2x-3x the number of video consumption on NBC News than legacy site.

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