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See All The Dumb Ways You Can Die In Australian Metro Ad

A smart, funny PSA by the Australian Metro offers up a buffet of unnecessary, and often rather silly, deaths before declaring that the dumbest ones of all have to do with not being careful around subways.

The Darwin Awards are an annual, posthumously delivered honor for people who shed this mortal coil in the most ridiculous, and probably avoidable, ways possible. We’re talking about drunk people who chainsaw their own heads off on a dare, and the like. Apparently, though, according to an adorably macabre new PSA from the Australian Metro, the dumbest way to die is by not properly respecting the dangers of the subway.

Created by agency McCann Melbourne "Dumb Ways to Die" is a catchy (the video has struck a nerve, clocking 7 million views on YouTube) little ditty and animated video that shows various ovoid figures meeting horrific ends. Some of these Darwin-worthy deaths include setting one’s head on fire, swimming in piranha water, scratching a drug dealer’s new ride, and taking off one’s helmet off in outer space. Each method is vividly demonstrated by a new character who meets an untimely end immediately upon waddling onscreen, before returning later on to dance during the chorus as a dead person. The song’s music was written by Ollie McGill, keyboard player for Australian band, The Cat Empire, and lyrics were written by McCann Worldgroup Australia ECD John Mescall.

“The campaign evolved out of discussion with platform staff and drivers who witness people risking their safety around train stations and at level crossings,” Metro Trains’ Leah Waymark, told an Australian outlet. McGill says the tune came to him after a late night out.

It’s only during the final verse of the song that the viewer realizes what this whole production is in service of, as the focus changes to a parade of unfortunate souls who fail to heed the rules of the Metro. The only thing the video doesn’t prepare the viewer for is being safe around the subway when you have an impossibly catchy tune about death stuck in your head.

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3 Comments

  • Rossco

    I think it's a little embarrassing when you look at it as a serious attempt to influence people to make safer choices around trains. As a (evidently) entertaining and very shareable video it works but it misses where it counts. That's just my thoughts but I'm fairly safety conscious around trains already so the effect may be greater on others.  

  • James A

    I personally think, this whole campaign is targeted at younger demographics. You know kids being kids and breaking the rules without forseeing the potential dangers. This ad certainly get into their head somewhat. 

  • DJ

    While your point is certainly valid, there are already a huge amount of very serious (and often violently graphic) PSAs about train safety in Australia. Culturally, Australians don't like being "lectured" to, and so a humourous video that is a little bit irreverent is an excellent way to cut through - and make commuters pay attention.