Dumb Ways to Die Goes Plush for Public Safety Campaign Extension


Last year, the marketing and advertising industry went nutty over Metro Trains Melbourne’s “Dumb Ways to Die” cross-platform campaign by McCann Australia. The public safety campaign, which went viral thanks to a catchy song for its PSA ads, online game and addictive mobile app, took home top honors at Cannes Lions and continue to collect accolades, have now inspired a curious new line of products.  

Melbourne Metro has announced it’s keeping the love going with a line of plush merchandise that is based on the characters in the campaign, and will be sure to appeal to kids of all ages in the same way that Uglydolls became a staple of dormitory rooms worldwide.

“We never set out for this to be a goal and it certainly didn’t factor into anything around determining the creative,” Metro General Manager-Corporate Relations Leah Waymark told Ad Age. “But countless people asked, ‘Where can I get the t-shirt?’ We had a lot of people who produce items approach us, from t-shirt makers to toy makers, to people who wanted to produce TV shows. But we narrowed it to what we thought would be most important, and that’s the brand integrity.”[more]

“This was not about finding another revenue stream,” Waymark added. “Finding a way to engage with people in different ways and keep the conversation alive was foremost.”

Cue a line of cute, fuzzy toys depicting the characters killed in “dumb ways” who are the stars of the campaign, which will be available in the first quarter of this year. “Some of the cuddly characters will be small enough to fit in your pocket, while others will dwarf the average teddy bear at more than 30 inches in height,” Ad Age reports, retailing between US$5.99 to $99.

The toys will come with an impressive pedigree. AdNews Australia notes that the toymaker, New York-based manufacturer Commonwealth Toy and Novelty, also made products for the Angry Birds franchise. 

The Melbourne Metro marketing team also plans to produce more “Dumb Ways to Die” content and spin-offs to keep the momentum going. After all, more messaging means more impact—and fewer dumb impacts between civilians at trains at level crossings.


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