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Dumb Ways to Die Essay

The social marketing ad campaign we chose to analyze is called, “Dumb Ways to Die,” created by the McCann Melbourne advertising agency for Metro Trains. The concept behind this ad was to raise awareness around train and railway safety. With the use of its clever and catchy theme song and animated characters demonstrating the numerous examples of, “Dumb Ways to Die,” the campaign has become a viral sensation. From its release date, of almost a year ago until now “DWTD” has had over 61+ million views on YouTube, has an interactive website dedicated solely to the campaign, an app available for Apple and Android devices as well as several parody versions of the video.

When we first stumbled upon this ad it was confusing as to what the exact message was up until the very end. After conducting some light research we found that Metro Trains main concern when creating this ad was to target at-risk young people who used their trains and railways and McCann did just that. They created an ad that is fun, likeable and worth watching and showcased it in the heart of any young person’s life, the internet.

McCann knew they had to get creative if they wanted to grasp the young people’s attention. However, we do not believe that this ad is effective in the way that McCann and Metro Trains had hoped it would be. Although the idea of the ad is catchy and memorable, train safety is not the first thing that comes to mind when we think of it. We believe McCann has a great idea and concept with “DWTD” but the execution is slightly flawed.

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