DUMB WAYS TO DIE

Gold Spike

Case Film

Presentation Board

TitleDUMB WAYS TO DIE
ClientMETRO TRAINS
Product / ServiceMETRO TRAINS
CategoryA02. Best Use of Social Media
EntrantMcCANN MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
Entrant Company McCANN MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
Advertising Agency McCANN MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

The Campaign

Summary of the Campaign Accidents and deaths among young people on Melbourne’s Metro train system had been on the rise for years. But young people don’t listen to public safety messages. We needed to make train safety part of the conversation amongst 13-25 year olds. The strategy was to throw a hand grenade into the world of PSA messaging. To be so deliberately different to the norm, we couldn’t help but create a conversation around the message. We wrote a song called Dumb Ways to Die, created a music video for it, and attributed it to an artist that didn’t exist: Tangerine Kitty. We uploaded the video onto YouTube and the song onto iTunes. Within a week it had been viewed 20 million times and covered on every news service in Australia. Within a month, it had captured the world’s attention so effectively, it made it into Google’s 2012 Zeitgeist.

The Brief

Reduce train related accidents in key accident areas by 10% over 12 months. Generate campaign awareness of 25% within 12 months amongst the core target.

Results

For the three months post-launch, Metro has experienced a 21% reduction in accidents and deaths compared to the same time last year. The goal was 10%. In post-testing, 39% of our core audience said they would act safer around trains. Campaign awareness amongst our core audience 46% after one month. The goal was 25% after one year. The video has 55 million YouTube views and rising. It also has huge levels of engagement, with 450,000 likes and 11,000 dislikes. Dumb Ways to Die is the most shared public service campaign in history, with 3 million + Facebook shares and 2,000+ blog posts. The campaign has featured in over 700 news outlets worldwide. The song charted on iTunes in 28 countries and is still getting airplay on radio stations worldwide.

Execution

We wrote a song called Dumb Ways to Die, created a music video for it, and attributed it to an artist that didn’t exist: Tangerine Kitty. We uploaded the video onto YouTube and the song onto iTunes. Within a week it had been viewed 20 million times and covered on every news service in Australia. People wanted to know who Tangerine Kitty was, but we wouldn’t say. This added fuel to the fire. Even Billboard was after us. Over the next week we launched 21 animated gifs which quickly became tens of thousands of memes and avatars. We launched a karaoke version of the video to encourage parodies and covers. Over 200 were made inside of a month. Schools started using our campaign material to educate their students, so we quickly produced a 64 page book for use in the classroom. After a month, we had far exceeded every goal we’d been set.

The Situation

Accidents and deaths among young people on Melbourne’s Metro train system had been on the rise for years. The problem is, young people don’t listen to public safety messages – especially when they come from authorities. Despite Metro’s best intentions, all their safety messaging was effectively invisible. We needed to make train safety part of the conversation amongst 13-25 year olds, and a traditional approach clearly wouldn’t work.

The Strategy

The strategy was to break every single rule of public safety messaging we could find. To be so deliberately different to the norm, it couldn’t help but create a conversation around the message. To engage teens and young adults, our message had to have a strong WTF/OMG factor. It had to feel like it was coming from a peer, not from an authority. It had to be content, not advertising focused. And it had to be housed on social platforms that encouraged peer-to-peer sharing. In short, our strategy was to throw a hand grenade into the world of PSA messaging.

Credits

Name Company Position
Adrian Mills Mccann Melbourne Planner
Alec Hussain Mccann Melbourne Account Manager
Chloe Alsop Mccann Melbourne Advertiser's Supervisor
Adrian Mills Mccann Melbourne Account Supervisor
Cinnamon Darval Mccann Melbourne Agency Producer
Mark Bradley Mccann Melbourne Agency Producer
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