School’s out Friday

The Melbourne Metro system posted this video on YouTube on November the 14th, and it’s since had 19,182,295 views. It’s called ‘Dumb ways to die’, and it was made in response to peoples’ careless behaviour around trains leading to unnecessary and preventable deaths. It’s attracting a lot of press due to the viral nature of the video, one that has finally knocked Gangman Style of the top of the viral video chart! Cassie McCullogh has written a post on ABC site ‘The Drum’, that outlines some criticism that has been levelled at it, suggesting its message will be ineffective.

Personally, I think any video that goes viral like this can’t be considered anything but effective. I don’t know if you realise this, but 19,182,295 views is a number within coo-ee of the entire population of Australia. The fact that the message at the end of the video outlines what its intentions are is a moment that makes you sit up and take notice. It’s kind of a ‘what the’ moment, but it certainly got me thinking.

I take my hat off to Metro. It’s quirky, creative and obviously has the mass appeal factor. The Drum article has some insight to its creation from Creative Director John Mescall,

It’s designed to engage with a younger audience that doesn’t “want to hear any kind of safety message”, McCann Melbourne Creative Director, John Mescall told ABC NEWS 24. “If it looks, smells or feels like an ad, it won’t get shared … it has to be incredibly likeable.”

This is one to store away for a class activity. My students have exams next week, but if regular classes were on, I’d be starting my lesson with this and encouraging discussion as to the ad’s effectiveness and the reasoning behind its creation in this form.

Sunny weather for the weekend here in Melbourne. I’ll be enjoying the rays, and making sure I don’t engage in any of those dumb ways to die. Enjoy your time this weekend – I hope you get an opportunity to see some rays too. 🙂

One Reply to “School’s out Friday”

  1. It has undoubtedly been more effective at reaching a young audience and engaging them than a graphic TAC style advertisement would be – everyone I know is laughing and talking about it, and seem to all agree that unsafe behaviour around rail is a ‘dumb way to die’. Which is quite a shift from the ‘she’ll be right’ and ‘what are you, a chicken?’ attitudes that were previously cool. I think it’s fabulous. Also, it’s catchy! If you really like the graphics, you can download the GIFs for free:

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