Award-winning sound design and music company Endless Noise announced details of the company’s hybrid “musical sound design” work for the latest U.S. Postal Service spot from Leo Burnett/Chicago. The new 30-second TV spot, entitled “Dry Cleaners,” was directed by Anonymous Content’s John Dolan and debuted on April 15.
In the spot, a small drycleaner experiences a surge of business based on a direct-mail campaign. As commerce picks up, the sounds of customers entering combine with hisses of steam, the motor of rack as it spins around, rings from the cash register and other ambient noises, eventually building into a percussive underscore. The voice-over drives the point home: ”Target your customers with direct mail, and you may actually hear your business growing. Music to your ears, brought to you by the United States Postal Service.”
“We had to find a way to get across to people that the postalservice can help businesses grow to become more vibrant andefficient,” explained Endless Noise creative director and project co-composer and sound designer Jeff Elmassian. “So, specifically, we had to find sounds in the environment of thisbusiness that reflect the image of the postal service and thatcome across as being interesting and musical.
“Together with John Dolan and the creative team, we found that the sounds in this environment made for a dynamic rhythm track, so that’s the direction we ultimately went,” Elmassian continued.
“The biggest challenge was trying to live within the realityof the sounds,” explained Leo Burnett’s senior producer BobDavis. “It was challenging to create an interesting sound that builds, but the team at Endless Noise helped us find the right balance of ambient sounds that could build to drive the storyline of the spot.”
“To me,” added director John Dolan, ”Jeff’s input was invaluable in the pre-production stage, because he helped medefine which sounds would work the best musically. He alsocreated a scratch track that I used on location to ensure the proper tempo. His knowledge of music and sound design andthe combination of those is what makes him really unique.”
The live-action footage was captured on-location at Bixby Knolls Cleaners in Long Beach, Calif., in March by Dolan anddirector of photography Conrad Hall Jr. All sound for theproject was created in-house at the Endless Noise studio inWest Hollywood. Working with co-composer and sound designer Andy Rehfeldt on a Macintosh G4, the team used SampleCell, Pro Tools and Studio Vision to sequence their sounds into a musical composition. The final track was mixed through a DigiDesign Control 24 mixing console. The Endless Noise studio features Mackie HR-24 studio monitors.
The ability of Jeff Elmassian and his team to transform sound into music recently earned them a London InternationalAdvertising Award for Best Sound Design for their work on thesensational Nike Freestyle campaign. Elmassian will also behonored for that campaign’s sound design at the upcoming 2002 International ANDY Awards Show and Party on May 1, 2002, in New York City and at the 43rd Annual Clio Festival on May 21 in Miami Beach.
For the Leo Burnett project team in Chicago, Lisa Bennett served as executive creative director and Steve Simoncic was the creative director. Along with Bob Davis, the team also included Chad Ackley as art director and Daniel Mabe as copywriter.
Anonymous Content’s team was led by executive producer Andy Traines and head of production Cassie Hulen, and also included producer Tapas Blank and production manager Sam Swisher.
Deb Schimmel of Chicago’s Optimus edited the spot.