Information published on 18 December 2012 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 325.

Success story of a viral safety campaign

METRO TRAINS MELBOURNE launches the “Dumb Ways To Die” Video, Song, & Safety Campaign

  • Safety
  • Level Crossings

Metro Trains Melbourne has decided to launch a rail safety advertising campaign (including at level crossings). The video clip posted on YouTube two or three weeks ago was initially very controversial but rapidly became a hit! The video clip and catchy song that shows “dumb ways to die” are aimed at the younger generation and has gone viral on YouTube with over 34 million hits within two weeks!!! You can watch it at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJNR2EpS0jw

For information when we posted the clip in the very beginning on the ILCAD facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ilcad it got less than two million hits at the time.

According to one of our ILCAD contacts it provoked a tsunami on the web and social media in Argentina and other South American countries, visit http://www.adnews.com.au/adnews/creatives-laud-dumb-ways-to-die-as-it-hits-8m-views ; or http://america.infobae.com/notas/61741-Munecos-suicidas-exito-absoluto-en-la-web

Many comments are being exchanged worldwide on the topic.

You can read an article or watch an interview of John Mescall, the creator of the most successful viral ad in Australian history, he reveals its secrets.
http://mumbrella.com.au/why-dumb-ways-to-die-was-a-viral-sensation-126339
“Firstly, we had a good idea. That bit’s critical obviously. But this idea came from an absolute truth: trains are the most predictable things on earth, and to be brutally honest if you decide to walk across train tracks between the platforms and don’t see a train coming and get hit by it… well, it’s your own dumb fault.
Not many advertisers allow themselves to be that honest about things, but Metro did and that’s a great starting point. In a world dominated by spin, honesty in itself can be disarming and refreshing. I think the title helps.”

Another interview: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-11-22/mescall-explainer/4386962
“He talks about the rationale behind the ad and their belief that young people are more likely to take safety advice from their peers rather than an authority. This is part of a long-term strategy and there will be further initiatives to follow this one.”

For more comments and discussions on the internet about the “dumb ways to die” video and safety campaign please see: http://dumbwaystodie.com/

You can also leave comments on the ILCAD facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ilcad