imgNew York, NY (February 12, 2014)—HOBO, led by founder/president Howard Bowler, provided music arrangement and audio post for a Super Bowl spot, “Buckle Up, Baby.”

Super Bowl viewers in New Mexico were reminded about the importance of seat belts for kids thanks to “Buckle Up, Baby,” a spot from the New Mexico Department of Transportation. The ad was created by Albuquerque-based advertising, branding and design firm Vaughn Wedeen Kuhn, and directed by Sean Broughton via New York 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.

 “Buckle Up, Baby” drives home the message that seatbelts save lives thanks to a montage of various fathers' 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 off key in a lot of places.

“Some of the voices were out of tune, so we needed to correct the pitch, but not make it sound too perfect,” Davies adds. “We worked hard to find just the right amount of pitch correction to use for each voice.”  

In addition, a second spot, entitled “Deadly Conversation,” highlighting the dangers of texting while driving—featuring original music and final mix from Davies—will begin airing regionally in the near future.