winning viewers with branded how-to

Client: Howcast Media, Inc.
Project: The Human Relationship Series
External Link: Guide Page

the challenge

Howcast tapped Screaming Panda to apply our storytelling brio to a how-to series revolving around romantic relationships. The challenge was to convey complex subject matter in short, digestible narratives that get the point across in an elegant and entertaining way. In addition, we needed to treat three unique issues as stand-alone pieces while unifying the content under the Howcast banner.

the players

Howcast.com has pioneered the use of video on the Internet since the early days of web video 2.0, and with founders hailing from Google, YouTube, and Nickelodeon, they have a firm grasp of community and online branding. Their extensive library of how-to content is unique in its attention to fact-checking and production values so we were honored that they chose us to shoot these pieces as one of their studio directors.

the plan

We liaised with heads of production to select subjects and then developed visual stories that would breathe vitality and a little magic into the material. And so, for “Mixtape” we portrayed a girl’s crush on a boy; for “Sensate” a couple needed to reignite their passion before things got boring; finally, “Exclusivity” found our muse seeking fulfillment in her love life and taking big steps to do so.

Casting played an essential role in these pieces as we knew that our leading lady would need to convey the distinct tone of each story without the aid of dialogue.


We gathered a select team of creative talent for producing the Howcast series within budget. Key to the success of the pieces was determining how to portray the subject matter in a way that would engage viewers in the joys and tribulations of navigating love in the 21st century.

Our answer came in a female lead, charming, resilient, and sympathetic for anyone looking for advice on the issues. In shooting the pieces we paid special attention to lighting each scenario to fit the emotion of the moment. Beautiful diffused light set the mood for love in “Sensate” while muted, overcast skies were the pefect backlight for the tone of a difficult occasion in “Exclusivity.”

In post-production we streamlined the entire workflow so that our review cycle was highly efficient and incorporated the story-based core of each piece. We tailored each piece for  HD broadcast and broadband distribution — providing deliverables for versions of the piece on the Howcast site, on television, and as elements of the popular Howcast iPhone app.


Our efforts won the third most viewed video on Howcast’s highly-awarded video site. This featured video has gone viral on spoke sites like YouTube. In the end, we have garnered Howcast Studios more than 360,000 views and counting, raising visibility, brand recognition, and driving new traffic to their hub.

Howcast Media
Howcast Media
TransitCenter | Stein Rogan + Partners
TransitCenter | Stein Rogan + Partners
Barnes & Noble | 5W Public Relations
Barnes & Noble | 5W Public Relations
Brightcove | Showtime | Wall Street Journal | Dupont
Brightcove | Showtime | Wall Street Journal | Dupont

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