A12. Charities, Public Health & Safety & Public Awareness Messages

Dumb Ways to Die
“Be Safe Around Trains” is a message that young Melbournians needed to hear.
Injuries and deaths were on the rise in key metro rail accident areas (Metro Data). However, rail safety is not the most pressing issue concerning Australian youth. Additionally Metro’s on-platform safety activity was being drowned out by outdoor advertising, making Metro’s campaigning almost invisible.
We needed to do something that was disruptive and worth paying attention to. With a limited media budget of $500K we couldn’t simply shout louder. Instead we needed to embrace the power of the digital native and their power to consume media when and where they want.
Our strategy was to turn a message young people needed to hear, into a message they wanted to hear and share. And importantly create content that would get the attention of media in order to generate the publicity we couldn’t afford. Importantly, we had to do all this whilst ensuring we avoided any of the category clichéd, parental type messaging our target had effectively become immune to.
At the core of the campaign idea was the black humour music video, Dumb Ways To Die. Seeded through social networks native to our target market, Dumb Ways To Die became a global phenomenon, and quickly demonstrated a tangible change in behaviour. With more that 40m views on YouTube and a reduction in rail related accidents in key accident areas of 31% since launch, Dumb Ways t o Die is one of Australia’s most successful public service campaigns.

Executive Creative Director: John Mescall
Creative Director: Pat Baron
Copywriter: John Mescall
Art Director: Pat Baron
Animation: Julian Frost
Illustration: Julian Frost
Group Account Director: Adrian Mills
Account Director: Alec Hussain
Senior Account Manager: Tamara Broman
Strategy: Adrian Mills
Senior Producer: Mark Bradley
Producer: Cinnamon Darvall
Lyrics: John Mescall
Composer and producer: Oliver McGill
Metro Trains General Manager, Corporate Relations: Leah Waymark
Metro Trains Marketing Manager: Chloe Alsop
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