Posts Tagged PSA

Dumb Ways to Die – Metro Sells Out

Posted by on Friday, 13 June, 2014

Dumb Ways to Die KidneyPicture this. You develop an incredibly successful PSA campaign for a client. Then two years later the client sells the creative to a company in a different industry overseas.

It would never happen.

I’m sure that’s what McCann was thinking until last night, Seattle time.

Metro Trains, the client for Dumb Ways to Die has sold the creative to a Canadian life insurance company. The catch phrase is now ” A dumb way to die is without life insurance”.

I’m sure you’re cursing this as much as I am. It’s a nasty, unethical cash grab.

One thing I had to remind myself was that Metro Trains is a private management company. They’re contracted by the Victorian government in Australia to run their metropolitan train network. Yes, Metro Trains is a for-profit company. Therefore, are we expecting too much for them to pass up the opportunity to make money off a PSA that has topped iTunes charts internationally, won a record number of Gold Lion awards, and launch a few successful mobile game? Oh, and meet its original goal of reducing incidents around trains.

We probably are. After all, Metro Trains exists to make money. Dumb Ways to Die gave them that opportunity.

What will be the result of the Dumb Ways to Die Sell Out?

At the very least agency/client contracts will gain an additional clause prohibiting any on-selling of the work. I’m not privy to McCann’s contract with Metro Trains, but knowing Metro Trains, the sale will be legal. I can also see agencies being less eager to push creativity if their work will be onsold and butchered. Let’s hope I’m wrong on that last count.

I kind of prefer if Metro Trains did sell their kidneys on the internet.

 

 

 

Was Dumb Ways to Die A Success?

Posted by on Wednesday, 28 August, 2013

dumb-ways-to-die-billboard

 

 

 

Being from Melbourne, Australia, I keep a cursory eye on Australian campaigns. That, along with my facebook feed being a mix of Australians and Americans meant I was surprised when I first heard of Dumb Ways to Die from a colleague here in Seattle. It’s a train safety campaign for Metro, created by McCann Worldgroup Australia.

 

 

 

 

Even while the campaign’s awards were piling up, nothing appeared in my facebook feed. I started questioning the campaign’s effectiveness. Surely it was more than a catchy jingle.

Last week I was in Melbourne (the home of Metro) and discovered why. The people it resonated with are too young for facebook. An eleven year-old has the app on her iPod and offered to let me play it (it’s not in the US iTunes store). I asked a four year-old which was his favorite character and he quoted the entire line of the character crossing the tracks.

Accompanying the youtube video (above) and game was a picture book, mural walls at major stations encouraging people to take photos with the characters, karaoke screens on station platforms, posters, a paid radio campaign and the song on iTunes internationally. All were driving viewers to pledge to act safe around trains.

Even though the video went viral and the song shot up the iTunes charts, was the campaign a success? Yes, it was. A 21% reduction in train-related accidents accidents and deaths was recorded on the previous year. Without that result, it doesn’t matter how many radio stations played the song or photos were shared on Instagram, the goals wouldn’t have been met.

Congratulations and well done to Metro and McCann Worldgroup Australia. But, may I please have a plushy of the character who sold his kidneys on the internet? He’s adorable. I’ll send you my address.

Video Case Study
Interview with John Mescall of McCann Worldgroup Australia, the campaign creator

Want to reach a teenage stoner? Try out-of-door PSAs.

Posted by on Thursday, 4 April, 2013

Marijuana 101Here’s the second brilliant public service announcement communications that I’ve seen recently. If you missed the first post, here it is.

Teen drug use is a problem everywhere, but how do you reach this tricky audience. If audience is even the right word.

The City of Mercer Island has taken a creative approach. I don’t have results, but this would have hit the mark when I was 16.

These laminated signs are taped to picnic tables in a local park. I’m assuming that if I walked down there at night I’d find kids puffing away. Here’s hoping the FAQs convince the kids (play on their paranoia?) to stop and go home. At the least, the message is at least being put in front of the target. Not an easy feat with a tech-savvy, rebellious group.

Well done to the comms team for the City of Mercer Island.

Proactive Direct Marketing from AARP

Posted by on Thursday, 28 March, 2013

AARP Scam WarningThis is the first of a couple of amazing public service announcement campaigns I’ve seen recently.

This was unaddressed mail, delivered via USPS. The kind of piece that I glance at and throw in the recycling. It’s a long time since I’ve seen good DM.

However, looking closer shows it’s an amazingly well executed PSA from AARP. It’s relevant information to help their audience and delivered so it will get in their hands. Before you say “but it’s a print piece!” think of THEIR audience: retirees.

Print has massive cut through for people home during the day. The same people who spent their lives able to believe all they are told, and only getting computers late in their careers. Gullible, but not intentionally so.

So this piece that looks like a scam, but educates on what a scam is becomes a brilliant piece of direct marketing. It gets a PSA to the right people at the right time. AND, these people will appreciate the information; building their trust in AARP.

One final criticism you may have. Why was it sent to an area that hits a 37 year old digital marketing manager? For where I live, 23.3% of the residents are 62 years or older.

Congratulations to the AARP team.