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McCANN Australia Truth Well Told

Dumb Ways to Die: The Games

One Show | Adfest | Adstars

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When talking to young people, if you’ve got a message you want them to hear, say it in a way they want to hear it.

In 2012 we embraced how young Australians consumed entertainment, specifically music. But how could we create a message people would want to hear not just once, but on an ongoing basis? Music was great, but it had a limited lifespan. We needed to not just attract people’s attention, but also encourage ongoing engagement.

Not surprisingly, the ubiquitous nature of mobile and mobile gaming was the largest and most obvious opportunity.


The first game turned people’s love for a 3-minute music clip into an ongoing relationship. A game that our target audience, whose lives are often dictated by their peers, actively sought out and shared. It became a platform that allowed our message to live natively within their world and rest, quite literally, in their hands.

But the continued strength of the brand meant we could take our safety message even further. Dumb Ways to Die: The Games achieves this goal, with arena based games making gameplay expansion easy and ensuring relevance overtime, particularly for those who have grown up with the campaign.

The Games quickly became the number one app on iPad in 85 countries, clocking 67 million downloads, 5.7 billion gameplay sessions and over 93 million pledges to be safe around trains. In-app purchases help fund new safety endeavours and it further transformed our local rail safety campaign from Melbourne into a global campaign, promoting rail safety right around the world.

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