Online ads offer both brands and creative teams the opportunity to take artistic risks beyond the confines of broadcast television -- for evidence, HOBO President Howard Bowler points to the company’s recent online work for Zipcar and Hello Flo.

“The rules for TV are well established,” Bowler says. “But online, it’s a different world, one that offers creative people the chance to take bigger risks and tell longer, more character driven stories.”

And the value of taking risks, Bowler says, can result in big rewards. Three new spots for car rental service Zipcar have been viewed close to a million times; while a two-minute ad for, Hello Flo, an online provider of ‘fem care” products (think Dollar Shave Club for women) called “First Moon Party” has been viewed over 28 million times in only two months. Both projects were created and directed by Jamie T. McCelland and Pete Marquis of New York-based production company Hayden 5.

“These projects show the power of unfettered creative thinking,” Bowler adds. “The Hello Flo and Zipcar campaigns gave Pete and Jamie a way to stretch their talents and the results are viral ads that are not only brand focused, but also very entertaining. The lesson here is that you can get greater value for your clients when you allow the right creative teams to follow their vision.”

From 'Tapping ' Zipcar To Planning A 'Full Moon Party'
The Zipcar “I’d Tap That” campaign is an innuendo-filled series that plays off the ability of Zipcar members to rent cars simply by tapping the Zipcar card on the vehicle. Hello Flo’s “Full Moon Party” tells the story of a young girl so worried about not yet having gotten her first period that she fakes it with a little red nail polish. Seeing through her daughter’s ruse, Mom calls her bluff by throwing her daughter a First Moon party, complete with games like a Pin the Pad on the Period, a uterus piñata and a ‘Vagician.’

The Zipcar campaign features mix and sound design from HOBO Senior Engineer Chris Stangroom and engineer/sound designer Diego Jimenez, while Stangroom worked solo on Hello Flo.

For Stangroom, the key to both assignments was balancing the audio elements in the spot – music, dialogue, natural ambience, as well as feathering in Stangroom’s own sound design – all mixed with an ear toward anticipating the various devices viewers would be using to watch the spots, including smartphones, tablets, and PCs.

“My goal was to create a mix so natural that no one even notices it,” Stangroom adds. “This approach allows viewers to get absorbed in the story undistracted and, as a result, these hilarious characters become more highlighted.”

Providing The Best Audio Experience
For Bowler, Zipcar and Hello Flo serve as great examples of HOBO’s skills, not just in working in online advertising, but specifically in comedy, a genre that can be very tricky to execute effectively.

“Our approach is to watch the spot carefully and then discuss various ideas with the creative team, the goal always being to help them realize their vision.” Bowler adds. “We’ve learned that if you want to give the viewer the best experience, it’s vital to have well trained ears on the project.  The ability to really listen may go unnoticed until that final mix, then everyone appreciates why the right person for the right job makes all the difference.”

Click here to watch the Hello Flo “Full Moon Party” viral ad:

Click here to watch Zipcar “Coworkers”:

Click here to watch Zipcar “Hikers”:

Click here to watch Zipcar “Grannies”:

Creative Credits

Client: HelloFlo
Project: “Full Moon Party” (2 minute viral ad)

Agency/Production Company: Hayden 5, New York
Writers/Directors: Jamie T. McCelland and Pete Marquis
Producer: Todd Wiseman Jr
Executive Producer: Milos S. Silber
Director of Photography: Josh Fisher
Production Designer: Ally Nesmith
UPM: Dale Arroyo

Audio Post Production: Hobo Audio, New York
Sound Mixer: Chris Stangroom
Executive Producer: Howard Bowler

Editing Company: Beast Editorial, New York
Editor: Karen Kourtessis
Post Producer: Valerie Iorio

Finishing Company: Company 3, New York
Colorist: Rob Sciarratta
Commercial DI Producer: Katie Andrews

Music Company: Found Objects, New York
Composer: Jay Wadley
Producer: Abby Bernstein

Client: Zipcar
Project: “Coworkers,” “Hikers,” “Grannies” (all :30s)

Agency: In-house

Chief Marketing Officer: Brian Harrington
Creative Director: Brendan Stephens
Associate Creative Director: Mandy Donovan
Copywriter: Allison Tanenhaus
Art Director: Kali Winkler

Production Company: Hayden 5, New York
Directors: Pete Marquis & Jamie McCelland
Executive Producers: Todd Wiseman, Jr. & Milos Silber
Producer: Oscar Boyson

Audio Post/Sound Design: HOBO Audio, New York
Audio Engineer/Sound Design: Chris Stangroom, Diego Jimenez
Executive Producer: Howard Bowler

Editorial: Beast Editorial, New York
Editors: Karen Kourtessis, Lindsey Nadolksi
Producers: Valerie Iorio, Kristine Polinsky

Color: Company 3, New York

Online Editorial: Gryphyn VFX, New York

About HOBO Audio
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