Metro: Dumb Ways to Die

Agency: McCann Melbourne

Advertiser: Metro

Authors: Danish Chan and Adrian Mills

Total Campaign Expenditure: Under $500K

Executive Summary

"Dumb Ways to Die" turned a message about rail safety that our target needed to hear into a cultural phenomenon people wanted to engage with. Our strategy was built on a simple premise: give people a reason to listen to us by creating content worth their attention. Safety around trains would become front of mind by treating our communications like entertainment, not advertising. In four months, the campaign became the 3rd most viral ever; the most shared PSA in history and generated a remarkable $19.2M in Australian earned media.

Strategic communications challenge

Every year there are needless deaths or accidents around Melbourne's trains. And while rail accidents are tragic, they are in most cases completely avoidable. This was particularly true for young adults.