'Dumb' viral video lives on

ASHER MOSES
Last updated 05:00 30/11/2012

The latest campaign by Melbourne's Metro takes a very cute and cuddly approach to the issue of safety around trains.

Relevant offers

Music

The strange, moody week that was Review: New Zealand Opera's Don Giovanni The Bear essentials Courtney Barnett is genuine, hilarious Joan Armatrading's enduring charm Lose yourself in the music, the moment U2 free album verdict is in - an epic fail Mariah Carey announces New Zealand show APRA Silver Scrolls finalists announced Jimmy Barnes to tour New Zealand

Australia's fastest-spreading viral video, Dumb Ways to Die, has taken on a life of its own, inspiring more than 65 cover versions, 85 parodies and 170 re-posts on YouTube.

The original clip, made to promote safety on Melbourne Metro Trains, has amassed more than 28 million views on YouTube since it was posted on November 14.

Its creator, ad agency McCann Worldgroup Australia, said its "conservative" estimate was that the campaign had generated A$50 million in "global-earned media value" so far, in addition to more than 700 press hits.

A new parody clip by Seattle-based creative team Cinesaurus about the Curiosity Mars mission, dubbed "Cool Things to Find", joins dozens of other parodies and covers including a classic rock version, a Russian cover, a take by YouTube band The DDL Boys and a cover by a traditional Malaysian musical group.

There's also a karaoke version to join the iTunes track, and a music teacher has published a clip teaching people how to play the original song on guitar and ukulele.

"It's entered popular culture," said John Mescall, executive creative director of McCann Worldgroup Australia.

Mescall wrote the lyrics of the original song and brought in Ollie McGill, the keyboardist from Cat Empire, to write the music, as well as a freelancer to complete the animation. A friend of McGill's did the singing.

Perhaps illustrating why commercial TV networks are in such a poor state, Mescall said he spent "a fraction of the cost of one TV ad", but created something that will live on long after the campaign is over.

"A lot of paid advertising campaigns die the moment you stop spending money, whereas this is going to be in people's playlists for quite a while now," he said, adding TV networks had to re-think their controlled approach.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content