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Clever ways to warn

Content marketing gets the health and safety message across – and goes viral in the process

Chances are you’ve heard about Dumb Ways to Die, the latest viral video to go tearing through inboxes and Facebook walls all over the world. The video is cleverly animated with a sweet acoustic singer providing the music that, were it playing in the background, you might mistake for some adorable lullaby.

The reality, however, is a humorously gruesome (and gruesomely humorous) depiction of all the stupid ways you can shuffle off this mortal coil. In the style of the Darwin Awards (an annual award series that recognises the contribution to the gene pool of those whose stupidity has caused them to be removed from it), the video describes in fascinating visual detail a range of ways to die.

While the clip is entertaining in its own right, the really surprising feature comes at the end – when we realise that it is actually a public service announcement from Melbourne’s Metro Trains intended to dissuade people from standing too close to the tracks.

‘This campaign is designed to draw people to the safety message, rather than frighten them away. Especially in our younger segments,’ said Chloe Aslop, Marketing Manager of Metro Trains. ‘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.’

In any case, it seems that a little video about dying has breathed new life into the safety message Metro Trains is pushing – and has been an unqualified success for McCann, the advertising agency that created it.

In the unlikely event that you haven’t seen it, check it out – and hopefully it will stay in your mind next time you’re waiting near the tracks.

 

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