Dumb ways to die, and a catchy tune

June 25, 2013

Here’s a video I meant to post months ago — but I can’t find it now.  Martketplace had a story on it today.

The idea is, “don’t get hit by a train.”

Still from short movie PSA,

Still from short movie PSA, “Dumb Ways To Die.”

It’s a safety message from Australia.  Highest and best use of PSAs, if you ask me [most links added here].

A clever Australian public service ad campaign promoting train safety has swept a number of advertising prizes at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the world’s biggest annual awards show for professionals in the creative communications industry.

In all, the rail safety campaign took home the most prizes ever awarded to one campaign in the festival’s history.

“We’re thrilled with the outcome of the campaign. The main reason for that is that it starts a discussion about train safety in a way that young people will associate. We’ve deliberately not been threatening or shown graphic imagery,” said Leah Waymark, general manager of corporate relations at Metro Trains, Melbourne’s private rail service.

Metro Trains helped to co-produce the three-minute video, “Dumb Ways to Die,” which was created to teach people to be careful around trains. Since its November 2012 release, the video has racked up more than 50 million YouTube views, sparked several parodies, and even spawned an iPhone game. Not bad for a safety warning advertising campaign.

See for yourself:

The vocals remind me of early Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians; I wonder if the artist has any other work out there worth listening to.

It won’t be popular for flash mobs, I predict.

Curious update, September 19, 2013:  This ad has been banned in Russia.  No kidding.

Controversy

Everyone fell head over heels in love with the campaign. Except Russia. (Naturally). The video was censored by the Russian government and viewers were informed that, “This content is not available in your country due to a legal complaint from the government.”   The Russian government convinced itself that this video promotes suicide in an attractive comic format and will entice children and teenagers to “push the red button,” “set fire to their hair” and “poke a grizzly bear with a stick.”

More:

Don’t miss the karaoke version!


Old-Picture.com, good resource for teachers and students

May 31, 2011

Here’s a source of high-quality photos, most at least 90 years old.  A lot of these photos would fit nicely into presentations for history classes:  Old-Picture.com.

Many of the photos don’t appear much of any place else.  There are historic maps, too.

For example:  What’s a “whistlestop tour?”

Here is President William H. Taft making such a tour, or rather, speaking during a stop on such a tour, at Redfield (what state?  South Dakota?  Iowa?  New York?):

W. H. Taft on whistlestop tour, in Redfield

W. H. Taft on whistlestop tour, in Redfield

Here’s Taft, again, at “Boutelle at Janesville;” note especially the boys climbing the pole to get a better look:

1908 Taft whistlestop tour, Boutelle at Janesville (wherever that is!)

1908 Taft whistlestop tour, Boutelle at Janesville (wherever that is!)

Janesville is probably the city in Wisconsin.

Here’s Taft at a train, again in 1908 — might we assume it’s the same trip?

W. H. Taft at a train, in 1908 - campaigning?

W. H. Taft at a train, in 1908 -- campaigning?

Here Taft and his party are pictured on a train, in Chicago.  Same train?  Same trip?  Who are the other men with him?

W. H. Taft and party on a train, 1908 presidential campaign

W. H. Taft and party on a train in Chicago, 1908 presidential campaign

For another view, here’s what Taft saw at one of his stops — the crowd assembled to listen to him speak, in 1908:

Crowd gathered to hear Taft's campaign speech, 1908 (location, "West?")

Crowd gathered to hear Taft's campaign speech, 1908 (location, "West?") -- love that Tom Mix-looking hat on the guy in the middle, no?

Put these pictures together in a different order — it’s a clear illustration of just what a “whistlestop” tour is.  These slides could complement a presentation comparing this trip with Harry Truman’s 1948 whistlestop tour, just two generations later.  Or, juxtapose these pictures with pictures of John F. Kennedy in 1960, or Richard Nixon in 1968, or Bill Clinton’s bus tours in 1992 and 1996.

I’ll wager you’ve not seen at least one of these photos before (they are all new to me).  Old-Picture.com has a great collection of stuff.  So far as I can tell, the site administrator lists no copyright restrictions (there’s got to be a story in there somewhere).

What can you do with this collection?


%d bloggers like this: