Staff Reporters
Sep 10, 2013

Melbourne's Metro Trains to be named Advertiser of the Year at Spikes Asia 2013

SINGAPORE - At next week's Spikes Asia Festival of Creativity, Metro Trains Melbourne will add Advertiser of the Year to its large collection of Cannes Lions and other awards resulting from its animated viral sensation, 'Dumb ways to die'.

'Dumb ways to die': Viral PSA and hit song
'Dumb ways to die': Viral PSA and hit song

The Spikes Asia Advertiser of the Year Award honours a brand that is currently setting itself apart through the quality of its campaigns with consistently high creative communications whilst encouraging and nurturing innovative marketing techniques produced by its agencies.

Leah Waymark, general manager corporate relations, will accept the accolade, which in prior years has gone to P&G Asia, Samsonite and Uniqlo. 

Created by McCann Melbourne, 'Dumb ways to die' was launched to engage and teach young people to be careful around trains. Featuring a catchy theme song, black-humour and colourful blob characters who die from a variety of reckless mistakes such as "keeping a rattlesnake as a pet" and "selling both kidneys on the Internet," the ad culminates in train-related deaths that are described as "the dumbest ways to die".

The campaign achieved more than 20 million views on YouTube during its first week, and the song charted on iTunes in 28 countries. Most importantly, it caused people all over the world to think about train safety.

The campaign won a total of 27 awards at the Cannes Lions Festival in June, including an unprecedented five Grand Prix.

“It is remarkable what Metro and its agency have achieved with the 'Dumb ways to die' campaign," said Terry Savage, Chairman of Lions Festivals. "This is the best use of creative communications that we have seen recently. Not only has it captured the imagination and engaged the public through multimedia platforms—radio, outdoor, gaming, social media, etc.—but it has also been effective in achieving a change in people’s behaviour. This is exactly what this award represents. As such we are proud to present the Spikes 2013 Advertiser of the Year to Metro.”

Calling the award a great honour, Waymark added that the past year has been an incredible journey for Metro and the evolution of its brand. "As our operational performance has improved, we have increasingly been able to be more creative and make light of what are usually pretty dull topics," she said. "Our task now is to keep the conversation about train safety alive so we can change behaviours among our next generation of customers.”         

The Advertiser of the Year Award will be presented to Waymark during the Spikes awards on Tuesday 17 September.

Also at the festival, John Mescall, executive creative director for McCann Australia, the person responsible for the 'Dumb ways' campaign, will present a seminar entiteld "Agents for change", focusing on "the efficacy of advertising in a world that has never been more conducive to the power of commercial creativity." 

For more information about the Spikes Asia Festival of Creativity or to register to attend, please visit

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