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The Whew! Tongue Clan

By Tk Published on .

Oxygen Media and Crossroads Television came up with a rather ear-catching idea for the TV campaign to launch Oxygen's women's cable network: "What does Oxygen sound like?" New York creative audio production company McHale Barone was called in to create six spots of sound collages taken mostly from Oxygen's pilot footage, to support simple circle-motif and soundwave graphics -- which didn't faze sound designer/engineer Doug DiFranco a bit. He's half of a "hip-hop collage duo" called Double Dee & Steinski, with DJ/producer Steve Stein. The pair even won a Tommy Boy Records contest in the '80s for their ace audio assemblages. "Oxygen said, `Do whatever you like, and when you think you've gone too far you haven't,' " recalls DiFranco. But this is mainstream TV, after all. "It has to be coherent. It doesn't necessarily tell a story, but it's got to have a narrative sense." So DiFranco, along with McHale colleague Casey Chester and freelancer Bob Huott, fused bits and pieces of dialogue from various Oxygen shows, featuring hosts like Oprah Winfrey and Candice Bergen, into tidy tone poems, backed by a driving techno beat. "It's energetic, but not too edgy," says DiFranco. The funkiest spot by far, "X-Chromosome," features all cel animation, which makes a hip, MTV-esque blend with the audio treatment. Curiously, there is no radio campaign planned at this time. "The soundtracks do make perfect radio spots," DiFranco notes. Maybe the radio campaign will be, "What does Oxygen look like?"
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