"Dumb Ways to Die" Goes Viral

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  • November 28, 2012
  • INK Team

This post comes from INK intern Cody Permenter. 

“Dumb ways to die, dumb ways to di-i-i-ie!” That song has been stuck in my head for the past week. I have shared it on my Facebook and recommended it to my friends and co-workers. I don’t necessarily have an affinity for cute cartoon characters that die in morbid ways, but for some reason, this video has really made an impact on me.

This PSA comes from Melbourne Metro, and warns viewers of the many dumb ways to die—such as taking your helmet off in space, poking a stick at a grizzly bear, and my personal favorite, selling both of your kidneys on the internet. The video ends by saying the dumbest ways to die are being careless around trains.

It has received over 27.9 million views since it was created on Nov. 14.

So how has this video, a PSA from Australia, won over the hearts and eyes of millions of viewers? It is unlikely all 27.9. million viewers come straight from Melbourne – the city only has a population of about 4.1 million people.

The creative agency Seedwell sat down with Stephanie Buck from Mashable and laid out a few reasons that a video can go viral. Melbourne Metro is the perfect example of how a catchy, cute and clever video can catch the public’s attention.

The characters are undeniably cute and even the deaths are done in a way that is actually adorable and clever. This dark humor, coupled with a simple song, make for a perfect three-minute break from school or work. It is a video that can break the monotony of a Monday.

Scott Stratten from UnMarketing.com says that there is no way to ensure that a video will go viral. You do not make that decision—the audience does. He says that for a video to be successful it must evoke strong emotion from viewers.

“If someone lightly laughs at something, or is slightly inspired, that doesn’t make them jump to the “share” button. It has to be to the level of awesome. Awesomely funny, upsetting, uplifting, offensive, whatever the emotion is–it has to hit it hard,” said Stratten.

Truly successful videos happen organically and spread through social channels because they make the viewers want to share. Instead of trying to create a “viral” video, companies should simply try to create a good video. If it is unique and evokes a strong emotion, your hard work will pay off.

With just the right ingredients, a video advocating for train safety in Melbourne can catch the attention of millions viewers around the world.