Chicago Tourism Board Readies “Murder City” Campaign


A recently murdered resident greets visitors to Chicago

CHICAGO—Tourism officials in Chicago are preparing to launch a daring new advertising campaign that will tout the city’s high murder rate as the number one reason for vacationers to visit.

“We really believe people are tired of living their lives in front of video games or violent TV programs,” says Bruce Rauner, chairman of the Chicago board of tourism, “If you visit Chicago, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be murdered. No save game, no switching the channel; you’re just dead. That’s a huge adrenaline rush, and we think folks will be clamoring for that experience.”

With statistics indicating that nearly 50% of people in Chicago are likely to be gunned down at any moment, Rauner says that any person, whether a resident or tourist, experiences an incredible feeling of thankfulness and life-affirming appreciation any time they survive a day in the city.

“Our amazingly high murder rate has really been a blessing in disguise,” Rauner says, “Each morning you’re able to wake up it feels like you’ve won the lottery. We’re actually getting ready to run a series of ads that will compare the feeling of going safely to bed each night to winning the Powerball.”

Some recent visitors to the city have compared the experience with being on an African safari without any weapons for self-defense. To add to the excitement, many tourists are illegally arming themselves, at the risk of breaking Chicago’s strict gun laws.

“It’s definitely like a game,” says Brent Dobler, a tourist from Kansas, “You have to actually sneak your gun into the city, because it’s so hard to obtain one legally. Then it’s like you’re in the movie Predator. You never know when you’re going to be the prey.”

There are rumors that city officials are in talks with organizers of the X-Games to include a contest which will feature competitors trying to survive a night alone on the city’s streets, but representatives from Chicago and the X-Games declined to offer details. The first Welcome to Murder City ad campaigns are slated to run during the NBA playoffs.

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