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!


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