Dumb Ways to Die: Metro will be “selective” on brand partners

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 3 February 2016

Metro Trains Melbourne isn't ruling out spreading its Dumb Ways to Die platform to train stations across the globe, but its marketer says it remains “selective” on who it partners with.

The campaign, created by McCann Melbourne, has been licensed out by Metro Trains to the US, in a deal with Denver's Regional Transportation District (RTD) announced in late January.

MTM chief corporate relations and business development officer and CEO of Dumb Ways to Die, Leah Waymark tells AdNews that while there aren't any further deals in the pipeline now, the organisation is open to licensing the work across the globe – but not just to anyone who pays up.

“We had a lot of people approaching us about licensing,” Waymark says. “It's never something that you set out to do – at its core it was a safety campaign for Metro Trains Melbourne – but certainly when so many eyeballs were on the YouTube clip, of course people started approaching us about what else we might do with it.”

“There are no serious discussions at the moment but we're open to [spreading it further]. We are selective though, about the organisations that we partner with.”

In its initial run Dumb Ways to Die was the most awarded in the history of Cannes, with 28 Lions including five Grand Prix trophies.

Waymark says that since the campaign's roll-out it has “taken on a life of its own” to the point that managing the brand is part of her job title.

For this reason Waymark says the safety story of Dumb Ways to Die is something Metro Trains feels it has both a responsibility to share but also protect. It maintains creative control of any work stemming from its current licence deal which means its team works closely with Denver on the creative aspects.

“[Prospective partners] need to demonstrate their commitment to safety,” Waymark says. “It's about the brand, and the reach, not about it being plastered everywhere.”

“Denver has an agency that is developing content for them but we've created a style guide to guide that creative process. Every single piece of creative is approved through our very small team at Metro Trains.”

At home, Waymark says the campaign has also expanded, growing beyond its original train safety messages to other issues along the train network.

“We’re continuing to analyse and use the elements that are at the core of the campaign to deliver a range of safety messages,” she adds.

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