Metro Trains ‘Dumb ways to die’ video goes viral

A safety video for Melbourne’s Metro Trains has gone viral.

The three-minute musical cartoon, which is designed to curb preventable train-related deaths, has amassed 2.3m views on YouTube in 48 hours – with no media spend. (9.30am November 19 update: 4.7m views now)

Since it launched at the end of last week, ‘Dumb ways to die’ has been ‘liked’ on YouTube 42,000 times – more than double that of another popular Australian ad to go viral, ‘Beer chase’ for Carlton Draught.

The song, sung by an unknown Melbourne artist, is currently ranked fifth in the singer/songwriter category of iTunes.

The video was on the front page of Reddit for six hours, and “has gone nuts on Tumblr”, according to the man who wrote the ad, McCann ECD John Mescall.

He told Mumbrella on Sunday: “Of course, we wanted it to go viral, but it’s rare that all the elements you need fit into place. Just one thing could kill it.”

“If it wasn’t catchy enough, or the safety message had come at the beginning and not the end, it wouldn’t have worked,” he said.

“People don’t want to share advertising. They want to share stories and content. Dumb ways to die is very likeable. And if you really like something, you want to share it.”

Media spend on the campaign kicks off next week.

At the time of posting, Dumb Ways To Die had just moved to number one on the Viral Video Chart, ahead of Rihanna.

viral video chart dumb ways to die



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