Dumb Ways to Die
Metro Trains sing safety awareness
As Melbourne’s metropolitan rail service, Metro operates 210 six carriage trains across 869 kilometres of track, transporting 415,000 customers each day.
The problem facing Metro Trains was that young people in Melbourne, had exhibited absent minded and foolish behaviour around trains, some resulting in injury and death. It was noted early on that the target audience of a younger generation (18-29 year olds) is somewhat immune to messaging, especially when it’s telling them how to behave, so a different approach was needed to actually change behaviour and improve safety awareness.
The truth being that trains travel in a straight line. If you get hit by a train, you’ve probably done something wrong which makes getting hit by a train one of the dumbest ways to die.
So was born the awareness campaign 'Dumb ways to Die', which would aim to influence the audience to be more careful around rail systems.
The campaign was massively successful (in terms of numbers) and by April 2014, the video has been viewed 77 million times on YouTube.
The video piece bought awareness (with a cult like following to boot) to public service messaging that was all too commonly ignored. But the campaign was not to only grab attention of folk, it also needed to drive people to change their behaviour. This was done by all communication elements in the campaign guiding people back to a call for action - a website where they could click a button to ‘pledge not to be dumb around trains’. A call to action that nearly 1 million took after the first 3 months.
Awareness was certainly achieved but what about the stats around incidents following the campaign. Metro Trains reported a 21% reduction in railway accidents and near misses against the annual average. Such impacts as walking or driving around boomgates at level crossings were down, and a drop in “dumb behaviour” on train platforms in the Melbourne area.