Super Bowl viewers in New Mexico were reminded about the importance of seat belts for kids thanks to an emotional spot “Buckle Up, Baby” for the New Mexico Department of Transportation, featuring music arrangement and audio post from HOBO, the acclaimed studio led by Founder/President Howard Bowler. The ad was created by Albuquerque-based advertising, branding and design firm Vaughn Wedeen Kuhn; and directed by Sean Broughton via New York-based production company Rogue Unit.

“It was exciting to work on something that you know a lot people are going to see – something that’s not just an ad, but an important message that can save lives and change society in a positive way,” Stephen Davies, HOBO Audio Engineer says. In addition to the audio mix, Davies also arranged and performed the version of the lullaby “Hush, Little Baby” featured in the spot.

Simple yet affecting, “Buckle Up, Baby” drives home the message that seatbelts save lives thanks to a montage of various father’s singing a variation of the lullaby as they carefully buckle in their kids.

For Davies, the key challenge with the audio was to subtly pitch correct all of the individual dads’ singing, which was recorded on-set during the production and somewhat off key in a lot of places.

“Some of the voices were out of tune, so we needed to naturally correct the pitch, but not make it too perfect,” Davies adds. “We spent productive time finding the right amount of pitch correction to use for each voice.” 

A second spot entitled “Deadly Conversation” highlighting the dangers of texting while driving – featuring original music and final mix from Davies – will air regionally in the near future.

Click here to watch “Buckle Up, Baby”:

Creative Credits
Client: New Mexico Department of Transportation
Project: “Buckle Up, Baby” (:30)
Airdate: February 2 (during Super Bowl/New Mexico region)

Agency: Vaughn Wedeen Kuhn, Albuquerque, NM
Executive Creative Director: Richard Kuhn, Broadcast Creative Director/Writer: Nick Tauro, Executive Producer: Akash Khokha

Production Company: The Rogue Unit 
Director: Sean Broughton, Producer: Brent Morris

Music/Sound Design/Audio Post: HOBO, NY
Arrangement/Sound Design/Mix: Stephen Davies, President: Howard Bowler

Editorial: Cut + Run, NY
Editor: Dan Maloney, Producer: Ellese Jobin, Executive Producer: Rana Martin

Color Correct: MPC, NY
Colorist: Adrian Seery

About HOBO
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