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BWN Creates A Handful Of Laughs In New Citibank Campaign

Sound design company created and performed uniquely different tracks for four humorous spots (October 27, 2005)

BWN Creates A Handful Of Laughs In New Citibank Campaign

BWN Creates A Handful Of Laughs In New Citibank Campaign

Behold the singing hand! In a witty new campaign for Citibank, music and sound design company BWN created (and performed) uniquely different tracks for each of the four spots. Conceived by ad agency Fallon, the campaign features a singing hand and highlights the advantages of having a Citi mtvU card, which is issued by Citibank and designed specifically for college students.

"Poet" is a breathy and smile-inducing ballad with Mr. Hand touting the virtue of five points and how Citi mtvU cardmembers can redeem their points for amazing rewards. Dedicating his song to the viewer, the spokes-hand croons that cardmembers can earn five points for every dollar they spend - even on things like a buttery bathtub of popcorn at the theater and the "heavy books that you never use, but had to buy them for class" at the bookstore. But most importantly, if he had another hand right now, "I'd be clapping for myself."

The other spots also showcase the multi-talented hand singing the praises of the credit card and its rewards program. Using credit wisely is the theme of the "Lefty" rap ditty while earning gift certificates, music downloads and even tickets to the MTV Video Music Awards is plugged in the "Slap" rock track. "Degrees" employs a bluegrass tune to show how getting a good GPA means getting goodies.

To complement the wise-guy talking hand concept, ad agency Fallon wanted varying music from the edge to accompany each spot, which were treated with raw editorial and visual effects. BWN submitted a variety of tracks from improvised accordion and distorted drums to a high school jazz number, but the team hadn't quite found the right voice actor for the spots. Ken Brahmstedt, BWN Partner/Composer, then offered his own talents for the hand character tests.

"I plugged a guitar into a big amp, saddled up to a mic and ran the recorder for about 15 minutes while I improvised the script -- mangled it rather -- until I forced it into the time slot of the :30," laughs Brahmstedt. "The next morning I presented more music against the voice takes for Fallon, and then with a disclaimer, played my version. After asking me to replay it four times while they were laughing, I figured the creatives liked it."

The client Citi responded enthusiastically to Brahmstedt's rendition. BWN worked closely with the agency creatives to determine the music for the other three spots.

"By the end of the creative process, we had so many song ideas, the hand could go on tour to support an album," concludes Brahmstedt. "James Zucco, the art director, backed me as a human beat-box on the 'Lefty' spot so he'll have to go on tour with me and the hand. It should be stunning."


Client: Citibank

Spot Titles/Airdates:
"Poet" :30/October 17, 2005
"Lefty" :30/October 17, 2005
"Slap" :30/September 29, 2005
"Degrees" :30/September 29, 2005

All spots are airing on mtvU only (network aired at US colleges/universities)

Production Company: N/A

Advertising Agency: Fallon/Minneapolis, MN
Creative Director: Steve Driggs
Producer: Tracy Tabery-Weller
Art Director: James Zucco
Copywriter: Anna Stassen

Editorial Company: Uppercut Editorial/Minneapolis, MN
Editor: Carrie Shanahan

Postproduction Company: Fischer Edit/Minneapolis, MN
Colorist: N/A
Online Editor: Jay Holgate

Animation Production Company: Reelworks Animation Studio/Minneapolis, MN
Director/Animator: Morgan Williams
Executive Producer: Audrey Robinson Favorito
Producer: Neha Upadhyaya Lang

Music Company: BWN/Minneapolis, MN
Composer/Performer: Ken Brahmstedt

Sound Design Company: N/A

Audio Post Company: BWN/Minneapolis, MN
Mixer: Carl White

About BWN
What's in a name? In the case of BWN, it's short for the creative work of Composer/Sound Designer Ken Brahmstedt and Sound Designer/Mixer Carl White. This dynamic duo teamed to form music and sound design company Brahmstedt White Noise (can you see why they've taken to calling it BWN?) in the Spring of 2002, working before the paint was dry. Did you know paint fumes are inspiring? Brahmstedt White Noise provides complete music and sound production to clients in a variety of areas including commercials, corporate and independent films. The studio is designed for clients to work in-person or virtually via the Internet. So wherever you are, Ken and Carl can be there with you - although they know where to draw the line. BWN's clients include The Minnesota Twins, CBS, Staples, United Airlines, and BMW.

For more information visit


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Related Keywords:BWN, Sound design, Ken Brahmstedt, Carl White,


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