Like any project, it all starts with an ask. This one was particularly daunting: How can we translate a trove of devastating data into an increase in donations in two minutes or less?

Let’s back up for a second. For the last eight years, Quattro has been assisting the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania with marketing needs — everything from local campaigns to social content. One of the most exciting projects we handle is the annual fundraising video that kicks off the festivities at the Red Ball in Philadelphia.

In the past, the focus of these videos has ranged from highlighting valiant fire-fighting efforts to the importance of the Red Cross house, and what goes into repairing communities in the aftermath of local storms. But more recently, the winds have shifted. Facing an onslaught of worrisome trends and unignorable data, the American Red Cross has launched a top-down communication campaign to express the need for increased support in the face of a worsening climate crisis.

In 2023, there were a record-breaking 28 billion-dollar disasters. And nearly twice as many relief efforts as there were in 2013. The science indicates that this break-neck speed is only set to accelerate. And the Red Cross will need to as well, in order to keep doing what they do best. So, to return to our earlier question, how do we take such terrifying information and turn it into something that can quickly earn support? And how do you do that without ruining the vibe of a high-society party?

Our creative team got to work on answering those questions with one of the biggest brainstorm sessions of the year. Everyone was invited to throw their ideas into the mix, and we drew inspiration from all over: movie trailers, documentaries, commercials, kids shows, books, articles, performance art pieces, immersive experiences, songs, and so much more.

Out of this blender of ideation came seven to ten really good conceptual seeds. We showed them to our account directors, and to founding partner Scott Cohen (who’s on the ARC board), and solicited thoughts and feedback. After some pruning and polishing, we came back with a smaller list of even stronger concepts — each tackling the challenges at hand in a unique visual and verbal way. We wanted to share a range of styles and entry points: black and white footage, subtly moving cinemagraphs, even children’s drawings were all considered.  After presenting these concepts to the client, everyone seemed to coalesce around one direction in particular.

The idea was to delicately balance the power of raw numbers with an equally powerful, unflinchingly optimistic message. Yes, there are statistically more fires, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes than ever before. And we know with certainty that there will be even more on the horizon. But that means there are more opportunities to step up. With more challenges come more challenges overcome.

And more heroes, too. The volunteers and employees of the Red Cross of course, who consistently summon forth more energy and determination in the face of more disasters. But also those who can back them up with more support and financial assistance. By assembling the story this way, we invite the viewer to step in and be part of the solution. Truthfully, it’s the only solution.

Through striking visuals and bold, in-your-face animated text, we manage to convey the seriousness of the issue and the strength of those heroes. We let the numbers and stats do a lot of the heavy lifting early on, and then pivot to some heartfelt images to drive the message home. Add in a gritty, authentic VO read and a script that pulls no punches, and you’ve got a recipe for success.

Check out the video to see how it all came together.

We also produced an award-winning Red Ball video last year (and the year before).

If you’d like to learn more about our video capabilities, Contact us today >

(And consider making a donation to the American Red Cross)