Dumb ways to die: The most successful (transit) campaign of all time?


We're not used to using words like Cannes, One Show and "millions of views" in the context of transit advertising. Until now. 

In news just out, Melbourne Metro's "Dumb ways to die" has taken five grand prix awards at Cannes, the most ever won by a single campaign, winning in film, radio, PR, direct and integrated categories.

Dumb ways to die is simply the biggest creative campaign of the year - across all categories - not just transit. 

Yes, that's right - it is, in fact, a transit campaign. 

With its quirky lyrics, hooky tune, and kooky cast of animated misfits, this is more music video than ad. There's no shock advertising here - Dumb Ways to Die appeals directly to the intelligence of the viewer and it uses wit and charm to disarm. 

Dumb ways to die was originally deployed as a youtube video. Within a week, the video had attracted over 15 million views. At the time of this post, the video had crossed the 50 million viewer mark. 

The Dumb Ways to Die song reached the top 10 chart of iTunes within 24 hours of release and hit number six in the singer/songwriter category on iTunes' global chart a mere 48 hours later. 

In the ultimate proof of viral success, the video has prompted an explosion of global parodies, and variations.

What about real life results? After all this is a campaign meant to save lives. Well, post-campaign, Melbourne Metro reported a 21 per cent reduction in accidents. 

Virality is an indicator of cultural impact and cultural impact usually either leads to or springs from behavioural change - it's safe to predict that the longer term impact on behavioural change will be even more impressive.

The campaign has practically become a franchise - with an iPhone/iPad game app, a karaoke version of the song and animated GIFs - links provided below - as well as images from the print campaign.

The new free iPhone / iPad game! Now the lives of those adorably dumb characters are in your hands:https://itunes.apple.com/app/dumb-way...
Download the song: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/dum...or http://soundcloud.com/tangerinekitty/...
Sing along to the official karaoke version:http://youtu.be/5QV2HAYKP7E
GIFs!: http://dumbwaystodie.tumblr.com/

Advertising Agency: McCann, Melbourne, Australia
Executive Creative Director: John Mescall
Creative Director: Pat Baron
Art Director: Pat Baron
Copywriter: John Mescall
Illustrator: Julian Frost
Account Supervisor: Adrian Mills
Producers: Mark Bradley, Cinnamon Darvall
Account Manager: Alec Hussain
Planner: Adrian Mills

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