On May 22, The City of Chicago, along with Ogilvy Chicago, fired back a moving response to President Trump’s threats to take away funding for sanctuary cities, Chicago being one of them.
The fundraising campaign and website called, #ChicagoIsOne, seeks to remind Chicagoans that the immigrant story is everyone’s story.
It’s a specific effort to defend both Chicago’s identity as a city of immigrants and its decision to continue sheltering undocumented refugees. Along with Ogilvy Chicago, the initiative was developed with Cutters Studio, Ricky Rhodes Photography and Dictionary Films. At Cutters, close to 15 editors from all of their offices in North America participated on the project.
To kick off the campaign, which took place at the DuSable Museum of African American History, Ogilvy chose a very visible spokesperson to help promote the campaign, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
According to a story on CNN, at the event Emmanuel became emotional when he spoke of his grandfather, who journeyed to the United States when he was 13 years old.
“He came because this country represented something that Moldova would never stand for,” Emmanuel said. “This country, the place he calls home — the place my grandfather said without a word of English — his grandson is the mayor. This is the greatest city in the greatest country in the world.”
In another video, “Oscar C.” discusses his trip into the U.S. from Mexico and the life that followed.
Angel Castillo, an immigrant living in Chicago, said he kisses his kids goodbye when he leaves them because he doesn’t know “if he will see them the next day.”
“With the new administration, everybody lives in fear,” Castillo said.
Ogilvy Chicago’s Chief Creative Officer, Joe Sciarrotta, had this to say about the campaign, “There would be no Chicago as we know it without immigrants. Our diversity is our greatest strength and it needs to be celebrated and protected for all Chicagoans.”
“It was a pretty great experience for me,” said Cutters’ editor, Nadav Kurtz. “The whole creative team including CCO Joe Sciarrotta were very trusting and a pleasure to work with. And I think that collaborative spirit really comes across in how these films turned out.”
Emanuel told Reuters he wasn’t worried about upsetting the Trump administration, “because we’re not only on firm legal ground but firm moral ground.” He also shut down one potential opposition talking point by noting that the campaign will only use city-owned spaces and employ Ogilvy on a pro-bono basis. This means it will cost resident taxpayers a total of zero dollars.
Beyond the sharing of these immigrants’ stories, the campaign plans to help “ensure the city is delivering comprehensive services to immigrants, refugees, and other disenfranchised communities.” Those services include legal representation, immigration/naturalization assistance, mental health care, basic city resources, etc.
The campaign will include more than 200 OOH placements in the form of signs, billboards and train banners along with radio/TV spots and a social media presence under the #ChicagoIsOne hashtag.
Follow Colin Costello on Twitter @colincostello10.