Dumb Ways to Die
“Keep a rattlesnake as a pet…sell both your kidneys on the internet!” These are just what they sound like-–Dumb Ways to Die, featured in a video of the same name. In it, a variety of cute characters manage to kill themselves in idiotic ways, after which they cheerfully sing and dance about it. The video, along with accompanying song and website, are part of an effort by Metro Trains in Melbourne, Australia to promote rail safety (the dumbest ways to die involve getting hit by trains). In contrast to safety messaging that plays on fear using facts and statistics, the video is entertaining in and of itself, appealing to a wide audience who are drawn in by the catchy tune and the witty stories. After a few viewings, you may even find yourself singing along as these adorable bean-shaped characters meet their grisly ends. “Dumb Ways to Die” has become one of the most successful PSAs of all time, gaining 28 million views within two weeks and winning seven Webby Awards in 2013. It’s a great example of how smart storytelling delivered with today’s technology can spread a message far more widely and effectively than ever before.