How do you make city streets safer for pedestrians?

A state transportation study revealed that an alarming 3,000 pedestrians are struck by Chicago drivers every year. The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) called on Grisko, in partnership with T.Y. Lin, to create a marketing campaign to increase awareness about safety laws and prevent collisions.


Chicagoans killed in pedestrian crashes in 2010.


People hit by motorists in Chicago every year.


Cabs in Chicago.

Making it personal.

We developed a PR and advertising campaign to create an emotional response to the problem. “It’s Up to You” launched with the installation of 32 mannequins in downtown Chicago. Each mannequin represented a person who died in a crash the previous year. In partnership with CDOT, Grisko coordinated an outdoor press conference, attended by all major media outlets, to introduce the campaign.

Beyond the installations, additional experiential marketing included outreach to local bars and sidewalk advertising. The “It’s Up to You” campaign was also supported with transit in-system and outdoor ads, Chicago taxicab toppers, collateral and a web presence.

Chicago needed a hard-hitting campaign to help make our streets safer, and Grisko collaborated with the CDOT team to deliver. Their creative and effective campaign got the city buzzing and many Chicagoans to rethink the way they travel the city streets. Gabe Klein, Former Commissioner, Chicago Department of Transportation

Making a difference.

“It’s Up to You” received widespread attention and awareness, generating six million media impressions in four months from print, broadcast, radio and online outlets. The Chicago Tribune featured the campaign in eight stories, while the Huffington Post, MSNBC and all five Chicago television outlets covered the launch. Most importantly, word of mouth among pedestrians and drivers helped spread education on the street and throughout the city.