Silver Spike
Product / ServiceMETRO TRAINS
CategoryA08. Best Use or Integration of Gaming
Contributing Company 2 BARREL OF DONKEYS Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

The Campaign

Branded Content is on the rise in Australia but it is something that can be hit and miss and truly engaging and effective branded content is still a rare thing.


Strategy Our strategy was to create a smartphone and tablet game that allowed extended engagement with the Dumb Ways to Die rail safety message. Games on these devices are hugely popular with our key target market who seek out and share compelling content. Tactics Dumb Ways to Die continues to be one of the most viral advertisement on the internet today, and social comments and mentions still pour through in their thousands every day. We wanted to see if there was genuine hunger for new campaign material so we launched quietly and the campaign took off. Creative Strategy The game had a number of key creative requirements. It had to - Maintain the same fun, levity and unexpectedness of the rest of the campaign - Be accessible to the very young and the very old - Be easy to pick up but hard to master - Allow players to compete against their friends - Allow players to post to social networks - Encourage players to pledge to be safe around trains - Be playable on a train.

Dumb Ways to Die was already a global phenomenon. But we wanted to extend engagement with the campaign, within our core target market. Dumb Ways to Die The Game, was released in April 2014, and without spending a single dollar on promotion, the game went to number 1 in 17 countries showing that if you can create branded content that is compelling enough, people will seek it out and share it.

We simply uploaded the game for download and waited. And the results were phenomenal. 1. EXTEND ENGAGEMENT WITH THE CAMPAIGN SAFETY MESSAGE BEYOND EXISTING CONTENT. Dumb Ways to Die the game took 3 days to become the number 1 game in Australia. It has been downloaded in Australia 1.1 million times. Overall, the game has been downloaded 14 million times, made it to number one for over a week in the USA, UK, Germany, Canada and Australia and has generated not only 10 million+ pledges to be safe around trains, but 100’s of millions of hours of engagement with the Dumb Ways to Die safety message. 2. TEST THE MARKET DEMAND FOR MORE DUMB WAYS TO DIE CONTENT AS WE LOOK TOWARDS EXTENDING THE FRANCHISE. One hour after going live, the first tweet about the game was sent from Moscow. By the end of the day, the game had been downloaded 30,000 times. By the end of a month, the game had been downloaded over 10 million times, without a cent spent on promotion. We are very confident that there is a long term, local and global appetite for the safety message.


Name Company Position
Sam Baird Barrel Of Donkeys Developer
Julian Frost Barrel Of Donkeys Developer
Alec Hussain Mccann Melbourne Account Manager
Adrian Mills Mccann Melbourne Account Supervisor
Julian Frost Barrel Of Donkeys Director
Pat Baron Mccann Melbourne Typographer
Julian Frost Mccann Melbourne Illustrator
Pat Baron Mccann Melbourne Art Director
John Mescall Mccann Melbourne Copywriter
Pat Baron Mccann Melbourne Creative Director
John Mescall Mccann Melbourne Executive Creative Director