Dumb Ways to Die is a public service announcement campaign by Metro Trains in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, to promote rail safety. The campaign video went viral through sharing and social media starting in November 2012.
In May 2013, Metro released a “Dumb Ways to Die” game as an app for iOS devices. The game, developed by Julian Frost and Samuel Baird, invites players to avoid the dangerous activities engaged in by the various characters featured throughout the campaign. Within the app, players can also pledge to “not do dumb stuff around trains.” The activities include things like getting toast out with a fork and poking a stick at a grizzly bear. An Android version was also eventually released in September 2013.
The aim of the game is to earn as much points as possible by avoiding “dying” in one of the activities. Lives can be lost by “dying” in one of the activities. The game ends by losing all of the lives.
A sequel was made in November 2014. In the sequel, there are a lot more varieties of challenges in each particular building, and in each building has a particular theme. Before a train arrives at a building, the player plays a challenge to counter something related to trains. If successful, bonus points can be earned in the end of the game. There are 8 challenges each in every building. Like the original game, the game’s characters do plenty of dangerous and unsafe activities. Lives can be lost by “dying” in one of the activities. The game ends by losing all of the lives.
The campaign won seven Webby Awards in 2013 including the Best Animation Film & Video and Best Public Service & Activism (Social Content & Marketing). It won three Siren Awards, run by Commercial Radio Australia, including the Gold Siren for best advertisement of the year and Silver Sirens for the best song and best campaign.
The public service announcement was awarded the Grand Trophy in the 2013 New York Festivals International Advertising Awards.In June 2013, the campaign clip won the Integrated Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, and overall, won five Grand Prix awards, 18 Gold Lions, three Silver Lions, and two Bronze Lions, which was the most for the campaign in the festival’s history.