Australian Campaigns of the Decade: Metro Trains ‘dumb ways to die’ (2012) via McCann Melbourne

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In the lead-up to the start of the 20s Campaign Brief nominates the campaigns that contributed to Australia being consistently ranked in the top 5 most awarded countries at global award shows throughout the decade.


In 2012, in an effort to reduce the number of serious and fatal accidents on its rail network, Metro Trains Melbourne launched a safety campaign created by McCann, Melbourne led by a new song titled “Dumb Ways to Die”.

The catchy tune and music video was designed to clearly capture the reality of most train accidents – they’re almost entirely preventable and would never happen if the people involved didn’t do something dumb.

Spearheaded by a music video and song that could be downloaded from the iTunes store or via, the campaign also appeared in press, through a Nova radio promotion, on Tumblr, through small and large space outdoor and right throughout the Metro Trains network.

‘Dumb Ways to Die’ is the all-time most awarded campaign in Cannes Lions’ history: 5 Grand Prix, 18 Gold Lions, 3 Silver Lions and 2 Bronze Lions. The campaign also cleaned up at every global award show in 2013, including a record nine Nominations at D&AD.

Client: Metro Trains
Agency: McCann Melbourne
Executive Creative Director: John Mescall
Creative Team: John Mescall, Pat Baron
Animation: Julian Frost
Digital Team: Huey Groves, Christian Stocker
Group Account Director: Adrian Mills
Account Director: Alec Hussain
Senior Account Manager: Tamara Broman
Senior Producer: Mark Bradley
Producer: Cinnamon Darvall
Composer and producer: Oliver McGill

Metro Trains
General Manager, Corporate Relations: Leah Waymark
Marketing Manager: Chloe Alsop