Erin tells the sad story of how their mundane car trip turned to tragedy. The gift of togetherness helped her and her daughter heal.

Using a poignant and thoughtful animated approach, the campaign spot conveys the difficult story of a terrible car accident that changed one family's world forever. Compelled onward through the narrative by a moving red ribbon that represents RMHC, the hard-hitting spot invites donors and supporters to "Give the Gift of Togetherness" to help the Charity keep families together when their lives fall apart.

The red ribbon also appears in all campaign elements including on the Charity's website at, encouraging visitors to learn more about its mission, meet some of the families supported by RMHC and understand the significant impact their contribution has on children's health and wellbeing. "The thought behind the campaign is a simple one -- that when you least expect it, your world can very quickly unravel,” said Alex Braxton, creative director at DDB Chicago. “And that's when RMHC so often comes to the aid of families across the country."

For T&F, the project was led by co-founder, principal and director Scott Matz. His team included art director/designer Kyle Miller, designers Kyle Hurley and Frank Pichel and animators Jorge Peschiera, Joe Lawrence, Mike Burgoyne and Ken Krueger.

“Our friends at DDB Chicago conceived a very thoughtful campaign to elegantly connect images and textures that manifest in sync with the audio story,” Matz began. “The ribbon ultimately wraps a special gift, initiating a call-to-action to support Ronald McDonald House Charities by inviting donations… and to get there, we follow Erin Maley’s powerful testimonial.

“To support the fluid nature of Erin’s story, we designed smart, simple graphics (some metaphorical) and fluid transitions,” he continued. “We distilled and refined our storyboards until the graphic language and tone were perfect. We also did a great deal of 'ribbon R&D' to compare 2D versus 3D solutions, textures, other physical properties and motion dynamics. Ultimately, our goal was to tell the story in a seamless and clever way, as if the graphics were filmed in-camera as one, continuous journey.”

Upon approval of the final storyboards, T&F animator and compositor Jorge Peschiera took on the role of lead animator, dividing 2D and 3D responsibilities between two teams and artfully uniting the end results. Among many important technical approaches that impacted the final results, T&F artists working in Maxon Cinema 4D exported their 3D cameras into Adobe After Effects.

As the deadline for the spot’s delivery and debut arrived, T&F’s team in New York City faced a considerable challenge: Hurricane Sandy. Despite having no power in NYC, Peschiera and T&F producer Kelsey Thomson put in a great deal of extra effort and pulled out all the stops to keep in contact with DDB and deliver the custom :30 version, right on time.

Client: Ronald McDonald House Charities Advertising Agency: DDB Chicago Executive VP, Chief Creative Officer: Ewan Patterson Creative Directors: Alex Braxton, Alistair Robertson VP/Creative Director: Nancy Jordan Associate Creative Director/Art Director: Pete Pona Copywriter: Jeremy Simmons EVP, Director of Integrated Production: Diane Jackson Executive Producer: Liat Ebershol Producer: Patty Phassos Digital Account Executive: Ashley Bobbit Design/Production Company: Thornberg & Forester Creative Director: Scott Matz Designers: Jorge Peschiera, Frank Pichel, Kyle Hurley, Kyle Miller, Morgan Goldberg, Adam Grabowski Animators: Jorge Peschiera, Joe Lawrence, Mike Burgoyne, Ken Krueger Compositor: Jorge Peschiera Executive Producer: Elizabeth Kiehner Producer: Kelsey Thomson Music: APM Music Audio Post Company: Gutenberg DDB Engineer: Nick Papaleo Producer: Brian Heath

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.