Dumb Ways To Die viral views exceed the population of Australia

The views amassed on YouTube by Metro Trains’ Dumb Ways To Die viral has passed the population of Australia.

Launched just a week ago, the video – created by McCann Melbourne – has been watched 22.3m times, at the time of writing.

Paid media behind the campaign started in the middle of last week, with ads running locally in newspapers in Melbourne, such as commuter paper mX and, today, The Herald Sun.

The tune is being played without lyrics at train stations in Melbourne.

Dumb Ways To Die in The Herald Sun today

“Metro train staff are used to receiving negative feedback from the public. People never say thank you if a train is on time,” John Mescall, the ECD of McCann WorldGroup Australia, told Mumbrella today. “But they tell me that for once they’ve been receiving positive comments from the public.”

“They’ve even noticed people smiling while standing on the platform waiting for a train,” said Mescall, who wrote Dump Ways To Die.

“The song has gone nuts in Asia, and in Europe and the US there has been interest about taking this sort of approach to a public service announcement,” he added.


  1. Robelen Bajar
    26 Nov 12
    9:25 am

  2. It’s a very clever way to approach a serious and important issue without the use of fear tactics seen in cigarette and TAC advertising campaigns. Well done Metro. For the first time, you made me smile!

    Robelen Bajar

  3. Suzanne
    26 Nov 12
    11:01 am

  4. I’ve not watched the video but the minute I read the full page advert in the Herald Sun I thought “What a dumb campaign”.

  5. Jeremy
    26 Nov 12
    12:54 pm

  6. Advertising people on this site have a long history of being negative and rude about any work but their own work, but @Suzanne, your comment has to take the cake, a campaign with roaring success, 24 million You Tube viewsl; you admit to not watching it and have the audacity to call it ‘dumb’.

  7. Who-me?
    26 Nov 12
    1:04 pm

  8. I think it is dumb that there is no link to the clip from the Metro website. Oversight?

  9. Dan
    26 Nov 12
    1:13 pm

  10. I’m not sure that engagement is measured by number of views.

    At least it was fairly cheap.

    Of all the hits and views – whereabouts have they come from? All from Australia? And all from people who catch the train?

    It would be interesting to see if people remember it.

  11. Tom
    26 Nov 12
    1:44 pm

  12. Haters gonna hate.

  13. Jeremy
    26 Nov 12
    3:58 pm

  14. @Who-me? I’d suggest getting your eyes checked, there is a large banner reading ‘dumb ways to die’ that links to the ‘dumb ways to die’ microsite on the Metro website.

    @Dan it doesn’t take an idiot to recognise that this campaign is not targeted to reach ‘all people who catch the train’. I have nothing to do with the campaign, but I’d dare say it was made to reach a younger demographic, the same younger demographic who stream or download their content and don’t watch free to air TV, thus can’t be reached through traditional media channels. There is no such thing as one size fits all these days.

  15. Mike
    26 Nov 12
    5:08 pm

  16. It’s absolutely brilliant – cute imagery and lovely backing vocals while getting a serious subject across. Has to be up there for ad of the year?

  17. Frank
    26 Nov 12
    7:26 pm

  18. Hi. Thank you for putting a smile on my face today. This film is brilliant, and the message is so clear. And with all the media hype all over the world, I am sure people will think twice about messing wih trains… =)


  19. Sarah
    26 Nov 12
    9:12 pm

  20. I absolutely love it!
    I’m german but I live in Australia. Three german friends – who don‘t know each other – send me the link or posted it on facebook last week. It spreads really fast. They love it, even when they don‘t know or don‘t use Metro.
    I wonder if a german company would have the guts to produce and release such a campaign because its headline is so “negative”.
    Well, to be honest, I guess not. Bummer! Because as we can see very clearly it‘s been a huge success already. This video travels faster than everything else.

    Well done Metro!
    Good job McCann!

  21. Aida
    26 Nov 12
    11:44 pm

  22. FYI: I am in Brazil, and I got this link last Friday 23rd Nov. I work as a graphic designer/illustrator mostly for kids educational stuff. In my opinion this is a brilliant concept and production! It makes everybody in all ages and countries to think about safety – train accidents, but much, much more! I think it is a delicate, sophisticate sense of humor. Congratulations to everyone involved!

  23. A
    27 Nov 12
    10:25 am

  24. This campaign might not work in terms of changing behaviour, but it is definitely popular and spreading via word-of-mouth. The question is, so people remember what it is for, or just the advertisement. My guess is people just remember and like the advertisement, not the brand. Hopefully this changes with mainstream media elements because how much stuff do people watch online and immediately forget?