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Dumb Ways To Die

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Leavia Ng

on 22 August 2014

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Transcript of Dumb Ways To Die

• Viral advertising is a potentially effective way to reach target audiences and bypass growing consumer apathy
• Traits of an effective viral video are - highly creative, emotionally engaging content and effective brand communication
• Dumb Ways to Die consisted of a mix of a catchy tune, offbeat humour and a family of cute animated characters to deliver their mess
How do you explain the performance of Metro railways' Dumb Ways to Die campaign?

Why has it been talked about so much?

How would you advise Metro to follow up in 2014?
Dumb Ways to Die
Belinda Swan
Declan Dover-Dlugosz
Leavia Ng

The Campaign
What are your thoughts?
Did you enjoy the campaign?

Did you understand the message?

Would you stick to your pledge if you made one?

Did you play the game or engage with any other aspects of the campaign?

Do you associate the "Dumb Ways To Die" video with Metro?
Tumblr Page
April fools and other integrated videos
Recommendations and advice to follow up
Continue what they are doing currently, because it is proving to be very successful
Follow up with and/or continue the extensions
Create competitions, voting/polls
Put pictures on the sides of trains
Extend the message to other public services
Branch into other entertainment platforms
Have a dedicated day
Change the colour of the red button
Make the association with METRO clearer
Brown, M. R., Bhadury R. K. & Pope, N. K. L. (2010). The Impact of Comedic Violence on Viral Advertising Effectiveness. Journal of Advertising, 39(1), 49-66. DOI: 10.2753/JOA0091-3367390104

Belch, G.E., Belch, M.A., Kerr, G., and Powell, I., (2012), Advertising: An integrated marketing
communication perspective, 2nd edition, Mc-Graw Hill Australia, North Ryde.

Diaz, A. C. (2013, November 11). How ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ Won the Internet, Became the No. 1 Campaign of the Year. Advertising Age. Retrieved from http://adage.com/article/special-report-the-awards-report/dumb-ways-die-dissected/245195/

Eckler, P. & Bolls, P. (2011). ‘Spreading the virus: Emotional tone of viral advertising and its effect on forwarding intentions and attitudes’. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 11(2), 1-11.

Golan, G. J. and Zaidner, L. (2008). Creative Strategies in Viral Advertising: An Application of Taylor’s Six-Segment Message Strategy Wheel. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 959-972. DOI:10.1111/j.1083-6101.2008.00426.x

McCann. (n.d.). Metro Trains – Dumb Ways to Die. Retrieved August 18, 2014, from http://mccann.com.au/project/dumb-ways-to-die/

Metro Trains Melbourne. (2012). Dumb Ways to Die [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com /watch?v=IJNR2EpS0jw

Miller, R & Lammas, N. (2010). Social media and its implications for
viral marketing. Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, 11. Retrieved from http://www.deakin.edu.au/arts-ed/apprj/articles/11-miller-lammas.pdf

Reuhl, M. (2013, August 1). Smart ways to advertise: Lessons from the ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ video. Business Review Weekly. Retrieved from http://www.brw.com.au/p/marketing/smart_ways_die_advertise_lessons_2vZecywV7HjbgKCSYDjXyM
Thanks for watching
Dumb Ways to Die Official Video
People adopted the rail safety message -14 million people and counting have taken the pledge
Over 200 cover versions of the song on YouTube
Over 85 parody videos
Schools used it as an educational tool
Became the most shared PSA in history
21% reduction in accidents and deaths in a year
3rd most viral campaign of all time
Charted on iTunes in 21 countries
Earned media $60 million and rising whilst only costing $300,000
Reached 46% of the target audience within a month
Won numerous awards
Metro wanted a PSA to promote rail safety
Advertising company McCann Melbourne created a song called 'Dumb Ways to Die'
First released it as a YouTube music video in Nov 2012
Over 20 million views within a week (currently has 86 million)
Coverage on nearly every television network in the country
Dedicated Tumblr site lead to a viral effect
Smart Phone Game
Little book of 'dumb ways to die'
Smart phone game for both iOS and Android platforms
Outdoor advertising (paintings on wall with characters to take photos) - promoted sharing on Instagram
Karaoke version of the song, which played at stations
Big posters also at stations near seats
Additional videos for Valentine's Day, April Fools, International Film Festival, and Running of the Bulls
Why has it been talked about so much?
• According to Miller and Lammas (2010), marketers working with leading brands in social media suggest one solution in viral marketing may be “co-creation” – where marketers encourage users to become actively involved with a brand or product.

• In the Metro campaign there is direct involvement through the Pledge system, user created covers, games, and the like, which alludes to a two way marketing communication.
What are your thoughts?
Did you like the video?

How did it make you feel?

After watching the video, will you be more careful around trains?

Would you consider changing your behaviour around trains?
Explanation of the performance of the campaign
Basically, it was successful because it went viral! But why?
Used a positive tone to convey a negative message
Eckler and Bolls (2011) found that pleasant emotional tone causes the strongest attitude toward the ad, attitude toward the brand, and intention to forward
Went against the common approach of shocking and scaring people
Traditional public service announcements repel people, so they created one that was ATTRACTIVE instead
The findings from Eckler & Bolls and the following support Metro's approach, and all of which contribute to the success of Metro's integrated campaign
The Campaign (continued)
Song released on iTunes and climbed the charts
Was so popular it got played on radio stations for free
Aim was to drive people to pledge to be safer around trains
Designed a website and asked people to hit the red button and "solemnly swear to never do dumb stuff around trains"
"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." - McCann Advertising
Little Book
Change the red button?
What were the factors that made people want to share the campaign with their social network?

Did you forward or would you have forwarded or shared the video with your social network?

Yes, No, Maybe, and Why?
Outdoor advertising
Karaoke & Posters at stations
Mothers/Father's Day
Australia day
Make a new video with other dumb ways to die
Have a dedicated day
Follow up with and/or continue the extenions
Put pictures of the animated characters in 'dead' form on trains
Reminder to be safe!
To increase the two-way interaction
Competition for people to make their own character/ suggestions and the winner is rewarded
Competitions, voting and polls
Extend to other public services
Other entertainment platforms
Nintendo DS
Make the association with metro clearer
Some people did not know the song was for Metro or about trains until the end
Perhaps put the logo on screen the whole time
“**and trains” tag could be bigger and clearer

• Viral success depends on consumers' active participation in forwarding messages to others, so campaigns are often more about the emotional impact of the message than the product itself
• Emotionality of the message is what likely drives consumer participation, viral videos often employ strong emotional appeals
•Related more so to humour, sexuality, nudity, and violence than regular advertisements
• They should contain "things you can't see on TV" to be successful, that being, something unique or surprising

What does viral mean?
• Encompasses electronic word-of-mouth strategies aimed to encourage brand-related online peer-to-peer communication
• "Defined as unpaid peer-to-peer communication or provocative content originating from an identified sponsor using the Internet to persuade or influence an audience to pass along the content to others” (Eckler and Bolls, 2011)
• Believed that one million views or more classifies an ad as being successful or 'viral'
• Linked intention to forward or 'share'
• The positive emotional grounding of the campaign helped it to become shared so rapidly amongst viewers
Created entertainment, not a 'typical advertisement'
Universal appeal with the animated characters as they do not have a race or sex linked to them
Easy to share as it was launched across multiple platforms and with a karaoke version to encourage parodies and covers
Extended the life of the campaign by integrating the iOS game after the video was so successful
Covered walls of train stations and surrounding areas with posters and lifesize displays that could be used for Instagram and social media sharing
Turned assets of the campaign into a teaching tool for children in the form of a picture book

Use pictures on the sides of trains
Public transport - trams and buses
Other awareness campaigns (TAC)
Have a “Dumb Ways to Die” day each year
Increase pledges and awareness
Remember those who have died from train accidents
The red button is a "dumb way to die"
The pledge button is also red...

How does something become viral?
Any questions?

Positively conveying a negative message

Sad and depressing that the characters are dying, but it makes people smile and laugh!
Used humour and violence
Very catchy, upbeat song

We said it was...
Humour in advertising can enhance attention and increase likability, recognition, and recall (Brown, Bhadury & Pope, 2010) and (Belch, Belch, Kerr & Powell, 2012)
Violence has also been used as an advertising appeal, suggesting it can enhance attention and memory, but risks creating a negative evaluation (Brown, Bhadury & Pope, 2010), however Metro has addressed this issue with the comedic aspect
This is supported by Mark, et al. (2010), who proposed that because of the humorous nature of comedic violence, it is possible unfavourable attitudes may be mitigated
Surprise or unexpectedness is thought to be a crucial element as it appears to transform into humour, given appropriate circumstances (Brown, Bhadury & Pope, 2010)
Given the juxtaposition between the cute characters and the initial instances of violence, the viewer is likely to find it humourous and engage with the stimulus
Humorous ads that combine higher levels of violence intensity with more severe consequences, appear to elicit greater involvement with the message, better retention of brand information, higher pass-along probability, and greater ad likability (Brown, Bhadury & Pope, 2010)

Humour is the main advertising appeal used in viral advertisements, found in 91% of advertisements (Golan and Zaidner, 2008).
Followed by sexuality with 28.1% and then violence with 14.4%
Supporting arguments
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