Digitas Effort Roots for Peace

Digitas has created a pro bono campaign for Roots of Peace designed to raise awareness of the death and destruction caused by land mines.

Michael Jacobs, creative director of the marketing company’s office in San Francisco, was reading Newsweek in an airport years ago when he came across an item about Croatian-born vintner Miljenko Grgich’s efforts to de-mine vinyards in his home country.

Jacobs’ interest in these efforts led him to contact the Grgich Hills winery in Northern California, which put him in touch with Roots of Peace and its “Mines to Vines” campaign. The result is an effort that includes print ads, bus shelter posters and a Web site promoting the organization’s cause. The tagline is, “Help us turn land mines into grapevines.”

“This is an interesting way to connect to the community and contribute to a global cause,” said Jacobs. “It allows us to be global and local at the same time.”

Print ads depict the dangers posed by land mines in about one-third of the world’s countries and will appear in magazines such as U.S. Weekly and Saveur, a food and travel magazine.

Posters will appear on mass transit bus shelters in the Washington, D.C., and San Francisco metro areas. The idea, according to Roots founder and president Heidi Kuhn, is to bring the message to tourists and everyday citizens. One of the posters reads, “Walking to school may result in death or injury”; another says, “Warning: Jogging may be fatal.” Digitas also designed the organization’s Web site, rootsofpeace.org.

Formed in 1997, Roots of Peace sponsors include Grgich Hills, other California wineries and the U.S. State Department.

“We have a social responsibility to bring this issue to the international agenda,” said Kuhn. “We’re extremely grateful to Digitas for their generosity.” Digitas, based in Boston, kicked off the campaign a few weeks ago with a reception in Washington hosted by Ivan Grdesic, the Croatian ambassador to the U.S.