Initiative Launches Global Effort for Juvenile Diabetes

Interpublic Agencies Band to Raise Money, Awareness in 50 Countries

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Rather than spend money on holiday cards or gifts, Initiative this season is uniting the Interpublic Group network to create a global media campaign, "The World Smiles," to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Working with media partners in 50 markets around the world, the agency will run a pro bono multiplatform campaign on TV, radio, online, email, outdoor and print to support JDRF's work.

"The impetus for this came from an idea I led in Latin America in 2008," said Mauricio Sabogal, worldwide managing director, Initiative. "However, to execute a global campaign of this magnitude at no cost was truly big thinking and took the combined efforts of IPG and so many generous media owners around the globe."

The "World Smiles" campaign was created by Initiative's partner in Puerto Rico, creative agency Sajo Garcia Alcazar under the direction of principal Carlos García, and will run from Dec. 26 through January.

Initiative - World Smiles

The creative features images of healthy, smiling children from all over the world. The many different parts of the campaign urge people to visit the website,, created by Miami-based marketing agency Ariadna, to share what makes them smile and donate directly to the JDRF.

McCann Erickson is also playing a large role, managing translations and adaptations in all markets where the campaign is running.

"When Initiative approached us with their idea to help drive awareness of JDRF, I was only too happy to help," said Nick Brien, CEO of the McCann Worldgroup and a director of JDRF. "I think it is great to see companies within the advertising world collaborating and using their respective talents to help promote positive change."

Along with the collaboration among agencies—the agency already had a relationship with JDRF—the campaign gets its voice from the several hundred media owners that are donating time and space to the effort.

"We've been fortunate that so many media owners bought into the idea and donated to the campaign," Sabogal said. "Without their partnership this idea never gets off the ground, and we're very grateful to them for working with us as a collective industry toward helping a good cause."

Said JDRF President-CEO Jeffrey Brewer: "We are pleased that Initiative has decided to invest its time and resources to support JDRF. This holiday campaign will help promote the important work we are doing to find better treatments and a cure for the millions of people around the world living with type 1 diabetes."

The campaign is expected to run in more than 50 countries and aims to collect more than $10 million in space and cash donations. Initiative plans to issue a follow-up on reach and impact early next year.

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