'Dumb Ways To Die' push explodes on YouTube

By AdNews | 19 November 2012

Metro Trains Melbourne's animated 'Dumb Ways to Die' video has amassed nearly five million views in just four days, with its theme song entering the Top 10 local and global iTunes charts.

The satefy ad aimed to prevent train deaths by classing them as a "dumb way to die" and showed animated characters being cut in half and lit on fire as a result of their own actions.

Its theme song featured amusing lyrics about foolish ways to die such as using your genitals to catch piranhas and removing toast with a fork. It was available for download from the iTunes store or via the campaign's website.

The ad was part of a broader campaign created by McCann Erickson, which is currently spanning across press, radio, Tumblr, transit and out-of-home.

Since its launch on 16 Novemember, it has been watched over 4.7 million times on Youtube and liked 82,684 times. Radio station 3AW reported the song reached the Australian Top 10 iTunes chart within 24 hours and was ranked number six in the global chart as of yesterday.

Metro Trains marketing manager Chloe Alsop said in a statement at its launch: “The safety of our customers is our single most important consideration. So it’s terribly sad to see so many preventable accidents or near misses on our train system.

“This campaign is designed to draw people to the safety message, rather than frighten them away. Especially in our younger segments. We want to create a lasting understanding that you shouldn’t take risks around trains, that the prospect of death or serious injury is ever-present and that we as a community need to be aware of what constitutes both safe and dumb behaviour.”

McCann executive creative director John Mescall said: “We’ve got people eating superglue, sticking forks in toasters and selling both their kidneys. But truth is indeed stranger than fiction, and we still couldn’t come up with dumber ways to die than driving around boomgates and all the other things people do to put themselves in harm’s way around trains.

“The aim of this campaign is to engage an audience that really doesn’t want to hear any kind of safety message, and we think dumb ways to die will.”

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