Dumb Ways to Die

Direction, character design, animation

Sometimes kids do dumb stuff near trains. They don't always listen to warnings but they do like catchy songs. So this is a catchy song that's sneakily about train safety.

First sketches of the characters. They had to be simple enough that horrible things could happen and you wouldn't feel bad. (But you can get away with a lot if the characters keep smiling.)

When it was done the video was well-suited for turning into GIFs so we made a tumblr.

The campaign also included a couple of holiday clips, as well as posters and a mobile game.

STATS 120 million+ views on Youtube

Client McCann Melbourne for Metro Trains

Additional credits Creative Director / Writer: John Mescall, Song composer and producer: Ollie McGill, Art Director: Pat Baron, Group Account Director: Adrian Mills, Producers: Cinnamon Darvall and Mark Bradley, Account Executive: Alec Hussain, Vocals: Emily Lubitz


Annecy–Cristal for Best Commissioned Film

Webbys–Webby Winner Animation, Webby Winner Viral Video, Webby Winner Viral Marketing, People's Choice in Animation, Viral Video, Viral Marketing and Public Service & Activism

Design Museum London–inclusion in Designs of the Year 2014

Gunn Report—most awarded campaign in history of Gunn Report, most awarded film ad 2013, most awarded digital ad 2013, 3rd= most awarded print 2013

Cannes–Grand Prix Film, Grand Prix Integrated, Grand Prix Direct, Grand Prix PR, Gold Film - Viral Film, Gold Cyber - Video, Gold Cyber - Digital Campaign, Gold Cyber - Viral, Gold Branded Content & Entertainment - Integrated, Gold Outdoor - Public Health & Safety, Gold Promo - Public Health & Safety, Gold Promo - Social Media, Gold Direct - Public Health and Safety, Gold Direct - Social Media and Viral Marketing, Gold PR - Social Media, Gold Media - Branded Content, Gold Media - Social Media, Silver Cyber - Animation, Bronze Film Craft - Animation, Bronze Press - Public Health & Safety, Bronze Mobile - Public Information

D&AD–Black Pencil Integrated and Earned Media, Yellow Pencil Web Films, Yellow Pencil TV and Cinema advertising, Yellow Pencil Outdoor Advertising

One Show–Best in Show, Gold Pencil Branded Entertainment - Short Form, Gold Pencil Interactive - Online Films, Gold Pencil Advertising - Cinema Long Form, Gold Pencil Advertising - Integrated Branding / Public Service Campaign, Bronze Pencil Advertising - Public Service / Newspaper, Interactive Merit - Websites / Public Service, Advertising Merit - Public Service / Newspaper

Ciclope Advertising Craft Festival–Gold Character Design, Gold Mobile App, Silver 2D Animation, Bronze Website Design

Animpact–Korean Jury Award

Anima Mundi–Best Commissioned Film

New York Festivals–Grand Prix Film, Gold Public Service Digital, Bronze Public Service Outdoor

London International Advertising Awards–Best in Show, Gold Design - Branded Content, Gold Digital - Branded Content, Gold Digital - Public Service x2, Gold Digital - Viral, Gold Digital - Mobile Apps, Gold Digital - Visual Design, Gold Integration, Gold Non-traditional - Public Service, Gold Non-traditional - Branded Content, Gold TV/Cinema/Online Film - Branded Content, Gold TV/Cinema/Online Film - Public Service, Silver Music Video - Animation, Silver Music Video - Best Music Video, Silver Poster - Art Direction, Silver Poster - Public Service, Silver Print - Art Direction, Silver Print - Illustration, Silver TV/Cinema/Online Film - Social Media, TV/Cinema/Online Film - Animation, Bronze Poster - Illustration, Bronze Print - Public Service

Clio–Gold Online Film, Gold Integrated, Gold Digital, Silver Animation

AWARD–Gold Film Craft - Animation, Gold Film - TV 30 secs+, Gold Print Craft - Illustration, Gold Digital - Online Film, Gold Integrated, Gold Posters - Outdoor Campaign, Gold Print - Newspaper Campaign, Gold Promo - Social Media, Gold DM - Integrated, Gold Digital - Charity, Gold PR - Integrated, Silver Digital - Social Media, Silver Digital - Design Craft, Silver Digital - Mobile Games,

Spikes–Grand Prix Film, Grand Prix Film Craft, Grand Prix Digital, Grand Prix Integrated, Grand Prix Promo, Gold Film Craft - Animation, Gold Branded Content - Integrated, Gold PR - Social Media, Gold PR - Non-corporate, Silver Branded Content - Gaming, Silver Outdoor - Billboards x8, Bronze Print Craft - Art Direction x8, Bronze Print - Public Service x5

ADMA–Grand Prix, Gold Direct Digital, Gold Integrated, Gold Online Advertising, Gold Online Video, Gold Craft - Art Direction, Gold Out of Home, Gold Charity - Effectiveness, Gold PR - Effectiveness, Silver Apps, Silver Direct Digital, Silver Social Media, Bronze Website

AdNews Awards–Ad of the Year 2012, Campaign of the Year 2012

Adfest–Grand Lotus Film, Gold Interactive - Viral, Gold Integrated, Gold Integrated - Earned Media, Gold Promo - Games, Silver Mobile - Games, Silver Outdoor - Transit, Bronze Interactive - Art Direction

TED–inclusion in TED's 10 Ads Worth Spreading 2013