If you watch broadcast television at all, you’ve likely seen the ubiquitous H&R Block spots featuring actor Jon Hamm of Mad Men fame. The campaign out of Fallon Worldwide features eight spots — all take place either on a film set or a studio backlot, and all feature Hamm in costume for a part. Whether he’s breaking character dressed in traditional Roman garb to talk about how H&R Block can help with your taxes, or chatting up a zombie during a lunch break, he’s handsome, funny and on point: use H&R Block for your tax needs. Simon McQuoid from Imperial Woodpecker directed.
The campaign’s audio post was completed at Eleven in Santa Monica. Eleven founder Jeff Payne worked the spots. “As well as mixing, I created sound design for all of the spots. The objective was to make the sound design feel very realistic and to enhance the scenes in a natural way, rather than a sound design way. For example, on the spot titled Donuts the scene was set on a studio back lot with a lot of extras moving around, so it was important to create that feel without distracting from the dialogue, which was very subtle and quiet. On the spot titled Switch, there was a very energetic music track and fast cutting scenes, but again it needed support with realistic sounds that gave all the scenes more movement.”
Payne says the major challenge for all the spots was to make the dialogue feel seamless. “There were many different angle shots with different microphones that needed to be evened out so that the dialogue sounded smooth.”
In terms of tools, all editing and mixing was done with Avid’s Pro Tools HDX system and S6 console. Sound design was done through Soundminer software.
Jordan Meltzer was assistant mixer on the campaign, and Melissa Elston executive produced for Eleven. Arcade provided the edit, Timber the VFX and post and color was via MPC.