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Dumb Ways to Die Analysis

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Robin Brown

on 14 December 2013

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Transcript of Dumb Ways to Die Analysis

Dumb Ways To Die Campaign Analysis
By: Joanna Esposita, Huong Ha, and Caroline Brown
What is this?
This is a public service announcement that originated in Australia by the Metro Trains in November of 2012
This public service announcement was released in hopes of promoting rail safety.
They promote their information on their website, Dumb Ways To Die, as well as on YouTube, where you can find their music video.
Although this was created in Australia, the audience is not limited to just Australians, the audience is expanded to younger generations around the world.
The increasing need for safety in situation that people encounter in their everyday life, focusing on their behavior around rail ways.

How do they accomplish this?
Making a public service announcement both popular and effective can be difficult. Therefore we picked out different elements out of this announcement that make it stand out, and applied several of the theories that we learned in class.
Visual and Verbal
Attitudes and Behavior
Elaboration Likelihood Model
Visual elements’ functions in persuasion:
Invite attention & evoke emotions
Show that something did happen
Speak what the words cannot say

Bright & warm colors
Organic forms
Fun & pleasant images
Attention & pathos
Better recall
Effective for young & low-involvement audience

Words, we use them everyday.
Words are symbols with meanings, and through these symbols they craft reality.

• Looking at individuals, the creators made the characters appear happy. It was at the moment of their death that their attitude change. In other words, while it may appear “fun,” you realize that it is dangerous.
o Ex: the character throwing the wasp nest.
o Ex: character in the car who crosses the rail way.

Attitude: a learned expression through interaction with others, experiences, the media, the environment a person grows up, and many other factors
Attitudes Continued
Visual in DWTD
Verbal + Nonverbal = The Jingle

C major, simple harmony, fast tempo
Neutral & calm voice
Relaxed and happy mood that identifies with target audiences’ interests.
Repetitive chorus
⇨ Rhythm & repetitiveness leads to a higher recall

Just as a refresher, the elaboration likelihood model is a way of determining how likely it is that an individual elaborates on information presented to them.
Central Route
Peripheral Route
ELM continued
There are a few different ways to look at this public service announcement through the Elaboration Likelihood Model
Central Route
"Invite a psycho-killer inside
Scratch your drug dealer’s brand new ride
Take your helmet off in outer space
Use your clothes dryer as a hiding place"

Even though this campaign uses cartoons and a cute song, the issues presented are still very real and dangerous. If you actually pay attention to the lyrics and how each character dies, it is very gruesome.

Also, they use a direct approach to the individual simply within the name; Dumb Ways to Die. By using 'Dumb' they are implying that the individual was not putting much though into their actions, and that their death could have been prevented.
Peripheral Route
This public service announcement is cute and catchy enough that it almost does not seem like a normal public service announcement. Therefore it stays with the individual if they do not immediately take to hear the information presented, and then apply it later, most likely without thinking about the way in which they came to the decision.
According to the International Journal of Healthcare Management, approximately 90 million adults in the USA have difficulty understanding and using health information.
Nonverbal persuasion

In addition to the verbal aspect of this campaign, there are also non verbal connections as well.
Burkean rhetoric:
Identification- through the video, the audience is able to relate to the situations.
This strategy can be seen as ineffective when trying to change the attitudes of the targeted audience.
The characters look as if they are celebrating death.
Even though the characters are cute, their unnerving happiness in the face of the gruesome deaths can have an adverse affect on any audience.
The lyrics of the song are strong and informative, however people are more likely to focus on the images in the video rather than the lyrics.
Attitudes Continued
While the information that the campaign presents is valid and insightful, many see it as ineffective.

As many of us know, our generation and the ones behind ours are self-informed, headstrong individuals. Regardless of information presented to them, they will make decisions that they find attractive.

What could be done to make this public service announcement better?
Create a character that is the 'voice of reason' for the other characters.
The Metro Train public service announcement on rail way safety.
Inserting a new 'wise' character into the campaign would be to institute a higher likelihood of elaboration and in turn a higher chance of changed attitude and behavior, and ultimately decrease the number of rail way accidents and deaths.
The targeted audience is the same; younger generations.
the updated song that would include the new character and it's input on the dangerous situation.
The context of the campaign is constant-The increasing need for safety in situation that people encounter in their everyday life, focusing on their behavior around rail ways.
This new character would be constructed using a logical appeal; logos.
Instead of only displaying the 'dumb' situations that people put themselves into, the video would now show a logical choice in contrast to the other characters.
By creating the new character, the audience could identify with it and therefore base their actions from the example that the logical character sets.

Children and teens have a lower level of central route processing Given that children’s brains are not fully developed, and that they are still gaining the experiences that will help them discern the information given to them, it is expected that they will have a lower level of processing.

The Audience and Processing Levels
The Audience and Their Ability to Process
In Conclusion
The Dumb Ways To Die public service announcement employs various persuasive techniques in order to change attitudes and behavior on rail way safety.

They do this by using techniques dealing with the visual and verbal, attitudes and behavior, as well as the elaboration likelihood model.
The campaign, while still relatively new, is not as effective as many though it would be. This may because the audience sees it as a joke, and is not processing it centrally. Therefore the rail ways could add in a character that embodies logos, a logical appeal, that tries to convince the other characters to think about their actions before they do something dangerous.
What is a PSA?
Public service announcements, or PSA's, are brief messages that have a message that is meant to increase awareness about a certain issue through the use of different mediums. They can range from being simple of very complex in their design and content, depending on what message is being conveyed.
Advantages of using a PSA
PSA's are generally inexpensive, due to the airtime is donated.
They are usually encouraging as well as informative
Due to the donated time on certain types of media, the time can be very limited, therefore creating a brief campaign life.
The competition between different PSA's is very stiff, many are competing for the same air time.
They are less effective on discussing controversial issues as well as policies.
“Rather than attempting to manage culture the diversity of views that make up an organization’s culture and sub-cultures should be considered and valued. Regardless of the change that is introduced in an organization there will be multiple interpretations of the actions that are taken that will represent the multiplicity of views that exist in the organization.” -Keeping rail on track
Safety Culture
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It is an interesting video with bright & fun images as well as a delightful & catchy song. This is effective in attracting Generation Y, who have short attention span and like to be entertained in comparison to be cautioned on dangerous situations.
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