Developed by McCann, ‘Dumb ways to die’ centres around a song and music video that points out that most train accidents are preventable and caused only by careless or foolish behaviour.
The lyrics of the song list various imaginative examples reminiscent of the Darwin Awards (tongue-in-cheek honours bestowed posthumously for causing death to oneself through what are deemed to be outstandingly unintelligent actions). It ends by detailing potentially fatal behaviour at train stations.
“We’ve got people eating superglue, sticking forks in toasters and selling both their kidneys,” said ECD John Mescall in a statement. “But truth is indeed stranger than fiction, and we still couldn’t come up with dumber ways to die than driving around boomgates and all the other things people do to put themselves in harm’s way around trains.”
Mescall added that the aim of the campaign “is to engage an audience that really doesn’t want to hear any kind of safety message”. According to Choe Alsop, marketing manager of Metro Trains, the relatively soft approach is designed to “draw people to the safety message rather than frighten them away”.