In 2012, Metro Trains Melbourne wanted to promote safety in the railroad in a way that would get people to pay attention. While the importance of train station safety doesn’t sound like the most exciting theme, an original content strategy made all the difference.
The company launched a campaign called “Dumb Ways to Die,” which quickly went viral. The campaign YouTube video was viewed 2.5 million times within 48 hours of launch, and 4.7 million times within 72 hours. Within two weeks, the video had been viewed 30 million times — it currently has 188 million views (as of April 2020).
The shareable nature of the content strategy was essential for its success. “We made it easy to share in bite-size chunks, launched it across many platforms and with a karaoke version to encourage parodies and tributes.”, said executive creative director John Mescall.
The campaign had a landing page where users could pledge to train safety. The strategy also included a Tumblr page (remember, it was 2012), public posters, and a children’s book that worked as a teaching tool. The result was a 21% reduction in train station incidents and the creation of extensions, such as an app version of the spot as a game. All thanks to a solid content strategy.