Taylor Swift and Emoji are the Driving Forces Behind West Hollywood’s New Pedestrian Safety Campaign


Leave it to West Hollywood to harness the power of the modern Zeitgeist in an effort to save lives.

The city has launched a pedestrian safety campaign aimed predominantly at its young, gay residents which aims to reach them through Emoji, Taylor Swift, and (of course) super hot dudes. The approach is markedly more lighthearted than more gruesome yet incredibly effective cell phone safety PSAs, but West Hollywood mayor John D’Amico (whose own press release about the program was written solely with emoji) is hoping that residents will take the initiative just as seriously. After all, according to the LA Times, West Hollywood has seen 88 car-pedestrian collisions since 2011, three of which were fatal.

The video seen here, which is a parody of Swift’s “Shake it Off” and cost $15,000 to produce, is the viral cornerstone of the campaign. A second layer of the initiative includes ads like the ones below, which have been plastered on bus shelters and will even pop up on Grindr, the dating app for gay and bisexual men. Hopefully taglines like “Make eye contact with drivers before you cross the street” and “You might like what you see in the crosswalk” will have WeHo residents paying more attention while traversing those trademark rainbow crosswalks.


Photographs courtesy weho.org