The power of social media in marketing shouldn’t be underestimated, as the Gangnam style music video has proven. In just one week, a video aimed at promoting safety at railway stations has gone viral.
New twist on tedious topic
Can you imagine a drier topic than safety? Yet an online video featuring cartoon creatures killing themselves in a variety of ways as part of an Australian transport safety campaign has attracted almost 12 million YouTube views in a week.
Not so dumb campaign
The Melbourne Metro Trains video “Dumb Ways to Die” has been shared widely on social media since being uploaded to YouTube seven days ago and the clip and jingle have been especially popular in Asian countries.
It features colourful, round cartoon characters dying in improbable circumstances ranging from poking a stick at a grizzly bear to using “private parts as piranha bait”, and selling both kidneys on the Internet.
The final chorus depicts what is said to be the “dumbest ways to die” – standing on the edge of a rail platform, driving through level crossing gates and running across train tracks.
The three-minute clip’s creator John Mescall says, “The decision to mix a morbid subject matter with saccharine levels of cute is what ultimately made it funny I think.”