New York, NY (August 6, 2014)—Manhattan sound design/audio post studio HOBO teamed with Nicktoons for the network’s first rebrand since 2009.
“Rebranding is a major network initiative, and sound design is a critical part of that effort,” Howard Bowler, HOBO’s president says. “By the time the creatives at Nicktoons approached us for sound, they had already put in a great deal of time formulating a vision.”
Facing increased competition from networks like Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, and HUB, Nicktoons wanted to brand their network as the place for cartoons, games and online videos. The network started with a look created by visual design studio Sibling Rivalry that combines a retro videogame style with a nod to modern visual tools like Vine and GIFs.
HOBO sound designer/mixer Max Holland notes that Nicktoons creatives came to them with an open mind and a mandate to make the network sound different from everything else on TV. “With sound design playing such a vital role in the rebrand,” he says, “rather than employing the more traditional, slick sounding ‘Hollywood-esque’ approach, we took our inspiration from Vine, YouTube, Instagram Videos, mashup videos and DJs.”
The company employed lo-fi video game sounds from the ‘80s and early ‘90s, remixing them into something fun, quirky and a little bit weird.
Holland adds, “Some spots in the rebrand sound big, some more intimate, but none are the same. By treating every audio element as sound design, including music, voiceover and sound bites from the shows, the effect was to create branding designed to appeal to a younger audience, one that is constantly immersed in competing media.”
In addition to an array of IDs, bumpers, interstitials, a new logo, revamped website and Nicktoons app, the network created original content to tie in with the rebrand across all Nicktoons platforms.