Each day, inconsiderate and incorrect behaviour contributes to unsafe roadway situations across the City of Vancouver. To improve safety for all road users, the City sought to develop a Road User Safety Awareness Program to tackle the rising number of related injuries and deaths.

The program needed to be executed citywide, geographically focusing on the top collision locations to demonstrate consequences of breaking roadway rules. It was important to target locations with high pedestrian traffic, since these areas reach the largest portion of the public.

People Are Fragile Branding

Educating “Fragile” Pedestrians

Hot Tomali implemented the “People are Fragile” road safety program in 2012. The purpose of the six-week program was to raise awareness about risky, illegal and inconsiderate behaviours. The campaign identifies the most common behaviours that result in serious injury or fatality by pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. These behaviours include: pedestrians jaywalking, cyclists running stop signs and motorists failing to yield at intersections.

The program launched with a media event that included spokespeople from City Council, the Vancouver Police Department and the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia. The campaign included advertisements on transit shelters, transit stations, on buses, and on outdoor TV screens, as well as an accompanying website.

The campaign also incorporated innovative guerilla marketing elements such as street writing to spread its message at 10 of Vancouver’s busiest locations that have high incidence of jaywalking. The street writing followed the path of an imaginary jaywalker crossing the street while they were thinking to themselves in a distracted manner. For example: “Is that a new coffee shop? I’ll just run over and grab a skinny   l—-a—-t—-t—e   .” (The last words were scrawled across the pavement as if they were struck by a car.)

The primary message of the campaign was to remind everyone that “people are fragile, so don’t put yourself or others at risk.”

What We Did

  • Campaign Strategy
  • Transit & Outdoor Ads
  • Non-Traditional Media
  • Design & Illustration
  • Website
People Are Fragile Ambient - Skinny Latte 1
People Are Fragile Ambient - Skinny Latte 2
People Are Fragile Ambient - Skinny Latte 3
People Are Fragile Campaign Website

Gains Traction Worldwide

This innovative campaign and messaging generated a great deal of interest from the media, including: Global TV, Globe and Mail,  Vancouver SUN, Metro News, Georgia Straight, and 24 Hours. The campaign also took the blogosphere and social media sites by storm, gaining interest from across North America, Europe and Asia.