Dumb Ways to Die… A Smart Way to do Social Media Marketing

I first stumbled upon “Dumb ways to die” last November, when this catchy little tune from half way around the world went viral. This video is a perfect example of using effective marketing techniques to raise awareness, influence behaviour and create change. It is Australia’s most successful viral campaign, gaining over 25 million views in the first week after launch, and now has over 44 million views on Youtube. Almost half a year later, I still remember this video and the key message.

“Dumb ways to die” was a public service announcement created by Metro Trains, a public transport authority in Melbourne, Australia. The aim was to raise awareness about railway safety. This cheerful video about a morbid topic was an effective way of reaching the target audience of young people, who generally have no interest in hearing any kind of safety message.

This campaign also uses an integrated social strategy to reach its audience. The two main platforms are the YouTube channel and the website (http://dumbwaystodie.com). The website entices the audience to learn more about railway safety though the cute animations and interactive components. Beyond that, the campaign also uses various social media websites such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest. An easy, fun and popular way to spread the message!

“This campaign is designed to draw people to the safety message, rather than frighten them away. Especially in our younger segments. We want to create a lasting understanding that you shouldn’t take risks around trains, that the prospect of death or serious injury is ever-present and that we as a community need to be aware of what constitutes both safe and dumb behaviour.” – Chloe Alsop, Marketing Manager of Metro Trains

– Lucy G.


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