CASE STUDY - Britannia
In this case study, we shall breakdown on how we tackled the Sound design and mix for the three Britannia Winkin’ Cow advertisements.
Britannia Winkin Cow is a packaged beverage product by Britannia Industries. Britannia Industries Limited is an Indian multinational FMCG company specialized in the food industry, part of the Wadia Group headed by Nusli Wadia. Founded in 1892 and headquartered in Kolkata, it is one of India’s oldest existing companies and best known for its biscuit products.
For this project we were working with a video agency, the rough animated vector video was sent for us to look at the movements and figure out the sounds. The product in all three videos were beverages and the duration of each video was 10 seconds. This was majorly for youtube and instagram.
Challenges for this project was getting the right sounds to make it feel more intimate and induce ASMR. The cracking of the chocolate bar, pouring of thick caramel, crashing of the milky waves were all motions where it had to feel close to an ASMR experience.
Another small challenge was that we were not working with the final video since the video agency was working on different coloration and animations, hence the timeline used to change so the sounds had to be re-synced.
Client had just one brief and that was to design sounds that would give it more of an ASMRish effect, where every sound is exaggerated and amplified and made as dramatic as possible.
For the caramel it had to sound “thick liquid”
For the crack in of the chocolate bar the crack had to be a “deeper crack”
For the coffee bean the breaking/shattering of the bean should sound “realistic and dramatic”
Plan of Action
The first thing was to go through the video and figure out what all organic sounds were needed.
To make a list of all these sounds and try to look for high quality samples or foley these sounds.
Let’s see how we went about for all 3 ads.
The three ads were Chocolate flavor, Almond and Caramel flavor and Coffee flavor.
Sound Design For the first video (Chocolate flavor)
In this ad the “crack” was the most important and intimate part that had to be perfected. It was the first motion in the film where there was no voice over before it or while the action. The crack was layered with multiple cracks to make it sound heavy and intense.
A bar of chocolate was actually broken and recorded with Neumann U87 to capture the crack.
Multiple layers were also added to that one crack. Before the main crack occurs, the cracks creeping through the bar were made using earthquake samples which were processed and enhanced to give the sound design more realism and also to increase the anticipation and intense feeling for the viewer, all of the cracks were pitched lower to give it more of an intense feeling.
The next part was to design sound for the chocolate milk falling on the bar and the product emerging through the chocolate milk. For this many samples of liquid were tested and layered, which was also layered with ocean waves sounds. Samples of underwater recordings were also sampled and pitched lower to make it feel like something is under the liquid. Few risers and underwater bubble sounds were layered and reversed that gave a good reveal for the product.
Sound Design For the second video (Almond Caramel flavor)
In this ad the Caramel pouring and almond crashing and the milk crashing were the three areas where it had to sound interesting and realistic. The caramel pouring had been layered with different samples of liquid but it did not sound too convincing, then we decided to record the gulps of pouring aloe vera juice from a plastic bottle. This was layered with many more sounds to give the effect of a thick liquid falling in slow motion. Since the fall of the liquid goes from normal speed to slow motion to again normal speed, it had to be automated with a sound pitch plugin to drop in pitch once the slow motion kicks in and to get back to the normal pitch once the frame ends.
The next frame is the almond moving, for these rock granules were recorded by rubbing against each other and layering it to give a crisp sound of crunch. This was also layered by calm ocean waves sound effects. The next part is when there is a crash of the milk, for this a rounded low kick was layered right at the exact time of the waves crash and layers of multiple waves flowing and crashing against rock sample was placed. There are also underwater bubbles- sound effects layered to make it feel more realistic, each of these were stereo enhanced and also panned right and left to create more of an ASMR experience.
Sound Design For the third video (Coffee flavor)
In the third advertisement the crashing of the coffee beans and slow motion explosion were the two main frames where sounds would make or break the video. The video starts with the coffee beans flying towards each other in slow motion, to give the feeling of pre-climax before the explosion happens a riser was designed to give that effect of anticipation for the viewer. The riser was specially designed in Ableton Live. The riser had to be low pitched and without much top end information to give the feeling of things happening in slow motion.
The next point of action was the crashing of the beans and exploding into coffee chunks which fell into the milk. For this an action strike was programmed using a Kontakt7 and was layered with a small kick which was blended in. The action strike was EQed, removing excess top end and unnecessary low-end frequencies and a reverb was added in to make the explosion bigger.
The explosion causes the Cafe Milk to explode out of the beans. Since this point was in super slow motion an underwater sound effect sample was layered with an ocean wave sample. Next frame for the milkshake wave- multiple samples of ocean waves and underwater bubble samples were layered and blended to taste. Now for the chunks dropping into the milk was designed by recording marbles and pebbles dropped into a bucket of water. All of these were sent into different 8th note and quarter note delays and reverbs and blended in slightly to give the bigness of the whole action. The product reveal was shown by a simple riser and other various letters were also revealed by designing smaller risers which do not grab too much attention from the voiceover.
All 3 Ads were mixed and mastered keeping references of other ads in mind. The whole approach of mixing was to have the ads having more of a lower and darker sense of sonics to make it feel more intimate for the listener and viewer.
All 3 Ads were mastered to the approx -14LUFS loudness for youtube and instagram.
Final mastered WAV files were sent to the video team for the further render.
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