‘Dumb Ways to Die’ – From Melbourne to the World


The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity awards the best work in advertising from around the world. And yesterday, Metro Trains of humble ol’ Melbourne swiped all the awards.

Dumb Ways to Die, an animated PSA with a very catchy tune, won every category it was nominated for, receiving a record five grand prix awards. This makes the campaign the most “successful ad campaign in the history” of the Cannes Festival, according to the Guardian.

The ad was first circulated around televisions and the interwebs in November 2012, becominga quick viral sensation. In the styles of Happy Tree Friends, the cute animated characters were depicted in various, rather confronting death scenarios, all set to an indie-pop tune you can’t help but sway or clap along to.

The video had over 50 million views on Youtube. Gifs were released from their Tumblr, and duly spread around like wildfire. The song went on to become an iTunes release, complete with a karaoke version. Within 24 hours of its release, it was on the top 10 on the iTunes chart, sixth most popular song globally even beating Rihanna. Within two weeks, 65 covers of the song were uploaded onto Youtube.

Now, you can get Dumb Ways to Die as a game on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. Players are asked to avoid the dangerous actions that the animated characters did not, all for the sake of the original ad. Even the game is in the top 10 free apps for iPhone in the Australian store.

This is not the first time ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ received critical acclaim. The Herald Sun had called the song’s ”catchy chorus is the most arresting hook since PSY’s Gangnam Style”. The Sunshine Coast Daily concurred, saying it was “the Gangnam Style of train safety campaigns.” And all from Melbourne public transport.

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