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McCANN Australia Truth Well Told

Dumb Ways to Die

Cannes Lions | D&AD | Webbys | Spikes Asia | One Show | Effies | L.I.A. | ADMA

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Trains travel in a straight line. If you get hit by a train, you’ve probably done something wrong which makes getting hit by a train one of the dumbest ways to die.


Rather than a typically earnest public service announcement, McCann opted for a mix of offbeat humour, a catchy tune and a collection of amiable animated characters to launch our message as an online music video under the compelling title Dumb Ways to Die. Within 24 hours of its launch on 16 November 2012, the Dumb Ways to Die song reached the top 10 chart of iTunes and was ranked number six on the singer/songwriter category on the global iTunes chart just 48 hours later.

The video has now amassed over 150 million views and 4.8 million shares. In February 2015, Dumb Ways to Die is still the third most shared ad of all time. Supported by an integrated advertising campaign, it spawned a plethora of global parodies and spin-offs with over 35 million combined views, attracting massive global media attention for Metro Trains and its safety message.

The first game app climbed to number one in 22 countries including the US, UK, Canada and Australia, with over 103 million downloads and 7 billion unique plays coming from every country in the world.

In November 2014, Dumb Ways to Die 2: The Games was released, taking the safety message even further. It became the number one app in over 90 countries, with more than 80 million people pledging to be safe around trains and nearly four billion mini-game plays in just three months.

Dumb Ways to Die was the most awarded campaign in the history of Cannes (with 28 Lions, including five Grands Prix).

More importantly, 127 million people have stated that they would be safer around trains because of the campaign.

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