I am sure you have all heard the infamous catchy tune featuring dancing cartoons behaving in ways that lead them to their unfortunate death. Dumb ways to die, it was created by Metro Trains and McCann to create an awareness of the potential risks and the importance to be careful around public transport. Who would have thought that an advertisement for risk awareness would reach the iTunes top 10 chart in its first 24 hours, now have 100 million views and 4.8 million shares.
This campaign is a stand out example of Viral Marketing, a technique where existing social networks are used to promote a product with the help of consumers who continue to pass and share it a long through their networks. It effectively works in the same way as a virus does.
So what made this promotional video stand out from others and be passed from computer to iPhone to tablet and back again for so long?
Firstly successful viral marketing campaigns are suggested to engage consumers to the point where they feel like they MUST show someone else. McCann successfully developed a campaign that would attract younger viewers who were not reacting to more traditional forms of advertising.
Viral marketing requires you to know your target audience and how to influence their behaviour
Focused on entertaining more so than advertising! Advertising messages that are entertaining have a higher chance of success in the digital context.
Because of this people watching were more likely to watch the entire clip rather than skip past.
The campaign was adaptable for the organisation to then slightly alter it to fit across various marketing platforms such as posters, apps, iTunes and billboards, increasing the campaigns longevity.
The campaign was interactive, as a new platform of marketing photoshoot ideas were incorporated to boost the publicity and awareness of the advertisement. Essentially the video characters became famous.
They allowed creativity, in this case they allowed people to share their video and reenact it in their own unique way with no legal copyrighting required. Building sharing into your campaign is a vital component for successful viral marketing. This focus on encouraging user-generated content means that people feel more involved in the campaign as they can add their own bit of creativity to it.
Despite the marketing campaign of Metro Trains going viral, there has been concern about how successful the campaign was in regards to increasing safety and awareness around train stations. It has been recorded that a potential 20% increase in safety has occurred however this cannot be directly linked to the campaigns success. Do you think that the outcome in regards to safety is successful? If it wasn’t, does this mean the overall campaign was a waste?