Royale, a motion design and production studio in Los Angeles, has launched The Bell Ringer, an interactive holiday site, www.weareroyale.com/thebellringer, raising funds for The American Red Cross Disaster Relief in support of those affected by Superstorm Sandy. At the heart of the 25-day fundraising effort is an animated short film about Edith, a sweet old lady who sets up shop on a busy street corner to raise money for charity.
After many fruitless attempts at ringing in the spirit of giving, Edith becomes so frustrated that she hurls her bell at the next uncaring passerby, causing a coin to curiously bounce her way. Ignored yet again, she throws her bell at another passerby, this time yielding even more coins. By the end of the film, Edith’s red canister is brimming with coins, even an engagement ring, as the pull-out reveals a row of victimless donors knocked out cold for a noble cause. Viewers now have the choice to avoid a similar holiday fate. Clicking “No Thanks” prompts Edith to throw her bell at the screen (making it go black) before picking it back up and trying again; clicking “Yes” will direct users to a credit card page (hosted by stripe.com) where they may enter predetermined donation amounts of $5, $10, $50 or “other.” A linear version of the campaign is hosted on Vimeo, which can be embedded on blogs and social networks such as Facebook to encourage sharing.
The entire project was developed in-house at Royale, from story development, character modeling and animation, to creating all of the interactive components. To conceive the character of the Edith, the company partners invited their staff to submit their ideas, which were then developed into the final. Tony Morales composed the music and sound design.