A few days ago I wrote questioning whether the viral marketing campaign Dumb Ways to Die would be seen as a success. I was betting the marketing executives would say it was, but questioning whether it actually made any difference to the problem it was purportedly targeting – rail safety.
There was an article in yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald extensively quoting said marketing executives and I think entirely proving my point. 28 million views, 65 cover versions, 85 parodies all, apparently, add up to $50 million in “global-earned media value” so far. It’s all rather predictable – the song and video are a great success because millions of people around the world have listened, making it a great success. More, the creators are now claiming this was deliberate – they deliberately used global (for which you can largely read American) motifs to make it appeal to a wider audience. The question remains though: Has this success made the slightest difference to rail safety in Australia?
As I said before, it’s a great song but just being a social media success story is a dumb way to count marketing success.
So apart from having the cool experience of finding an article helping prove my point, what was the second cool thing I found? It was this really great parody of Dumb Ways to Die about finding stuff: Cool Things to Find.