The Blog of Babel

This site sits on the crossroads of Languages, Linguistics, Social Media Market Engagement, Marketing Strategy, Innovation Strategy, Creativity Theory, Ancient Mythology & Egyptology. Its a very small crossroads in the middle of cyberspace - so stay for a while - pull up a chair and coffee. 

Dumb Ways To Die Video - Viral Safety Campaign

Have you seen this video - it currently has 51 million views on youtube and is the anchor behind a highly effective marketing campaign for Metro Trains in Melbourne Australia. 

The marketing campaign included many vital elements and content that really made  the message go viral. Here you can learn more about their campaign and how they managed to win a Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity Grand Prix award. 

Their campaign included a youtube video (50 million views), iTunes song (which reached the itunes charts in over 28 countries), Smartphone interactive game, online safety pledge and large interactive billboards in stations and around metro train tracks. 

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The results are equally impressive. A 21% reduction in accidents and deaths on Melbourne's metro. Additionally, this marketing campaign is considered -

the 3rd most viral ad of all time (not too shabby)


Want to learn more about the person behind this amazing campaign? Watch this cool little video and find out more -


The sheer success and creativity of this ad campaign is completely inspiring. From their success we can take away a few important things - 

  1. The message behind the campaign was sincere and authentic. They weren't trying to sell you something or brainwash you, they simply cared about your safety.  With this altruistic goal (which resonates with people around the world), the campaign enjoyed unparalleled success as users were more eager to adopt, sponsor and spread this message.
  2. The campaign embraced many channels and media types while maintaining voice and narrative. The campaign embraced original music, video, mobile apps, books, billboard ads and interactive content. All of these channels focused on the dumb ways to die characters - a very simple reminder of metro safety.
  3. The campaign didn't embrace the normal "shock and awe" tactics that safety ads embrace.  Instead the campaign went a different direction - one that people were probably less likely to anticipate. The decision to satirize "dumb deaths" and make them seem cute and cuddly only added to the campaign's quirkiness and allure. It was also a bold decision (and I'm sure hotly debated) whether to make such a serious subject a comedy - it could have failed completely. However I think the character's cuteness and all out ridiculousness sealed the deal. In the end, cuteness is more shareable then shock.