Branded Content is on the rise in Australia but it is something that can be hit and miss and truly engaging and effective branded content is still a rare thing.
Our task was to reduce preventable deaths and accidents in young Melbournians.
But most of the behaviours that lead to rail related accidents were 100% avoidable – caused by people behaving irresponsibly or the result of moments of stupidity. Running on the tracks, driving around barriers because they couldn’t be bothered waiting, not paying attention to where they were walking. Simply dumb.
But young people hate being told what to do.
So the strategy was simple. Turn a message that young people need to hear, into a message they want to hear.
The campaign centered around the song, Dumb Ways to Die, and our approach was to promote the song as any other song would be promoted.
Ours was a four-part strategy:
1. TREAT THIS AS ENTERTAINMENT, NOT ADVERTISING
As such, we launched the song like a music promoter would. To do this we used social media (Youtube, Facebook, Sound Cloud, Tumblr and Instagram) to drive engagement with the song and broader campaign.
2. AMPLIFY THROUGH THE POWER OF PR AND SOCIAL
Extend the reach of the campaign through social media and traditional PR beyond the initial $300K campaign.
3. ASK FOR A COMMITMENT
Invite our target group after watching the video to pledge their commitment to being safe around trains by visiting our campaign site or sharing on social networks.
Our strategy was to turn our message about rail safety that no one wanted listen to, into a piece of entertainment that people actively sought out, shared and committed to. Embracing the importance of group dynamics within the target market, we chose to avoid the typical patronising voice of authority and create something we hoped people would genuinely want to share.
To launch we integrated Tumblr, Youtube, Facebook, Soundcloud and Twitter and easily enabled the sharing of campaign content to drive huge social engagement. We extended the branded content experience through a children's book, and a it smartphone game.
Our goals were straightforward. Our results phenomenal.
Dumb Ways to Die is the most socially shared PSA of all time and the 4th most shared video of all time. 8 months on, Dumb Ways to Die is still one of the most viral, social campaigns online with constant interaction on twitter, youtube and instagram. In-terms of the inital goals:
1. INCREASE PUBLIC AWARENESS AND ENGAGEMENT WITH RAIL SAFETY
- More the 55 million views on YouTube
- Charted on iTunes in 28 countries selling 100,000 copies
- 120,000 free downloads on Soundcloud
-14 Million app players
- Nu,ber one free app in 17 countries including the USA, UK, Germany and Australia
- 3,753,640 Facebook shares
- 122,033 Twitter shares
- 2,326 blog posts
- 50% campaign recall amongst core target market
- 34% of core target said they would be safer around trains because of the campaign.
2. GET 10,000 MELBOURNIANS TO COMMIT TO BE SAFE AROUND TRAINS
In the first 4 months over 44,000 Melbournians pledged “not to do dumb things around trains”. Another million Australians have pledged to be safe through the mobile game.
3. REDUCE THE NUMBER OF NEAR MISSES AND ACCIDENTS AROUND TRAINS
20% reduction in rail accidents in the first 3 months.