Dumb Ways to Die is a YouTube video and song which delivers a train safety message in an innovative way. It features cute singing and dancing characters dying in a multitude of ways to illustrate that getting hit by a train is a “Dumb way to die”.
I find that as a Marketing student I seem to pay more attention to organisations’ ads and marketing strategies than the lay person would. That’s why I find it especially amazing when even I have poor brand recall from an advertisement I just watched/saw/heard/etc.. What I’m finding more prevalent than ever are ads which do not coincide with the brand identity. That is, you could play an ad and put any old brand logo at the end without changing the ad or its resulting effectiveness.
I realise that I’m going out here on a whim and criticising an ad which may/may not be effective. The one thing I would say is positive is that it caught my attention with it’s simplicity and lack of direct brand promotion. What I’d love to see is a follow up campaign to this ad, building on the surreptitious nature of this one. Maybe they could create some ground swell and have a big reveal at the campaign’s conclusion? Although I don’t think this is very likely.
So for now, I’m going to assume it’s not part of an overall strategy and award it:
Advertisement Effectiveness: 2/10 (for lack of brand identifiability)
Update (05/08/10): If anyone knows who the agency or brand behind this campaign is, please let me know in the comments section below!
Update (02/09/10): I’ve been following this campaign over the past few weeks and so it turns out, the client is CareerOne. There have been follow up advertisments in newspapers and television commercials. I even saw a banner ad for the campaign on YouTube! It also turns out that CareerOne is owned by News Limited (known as News Digital Media in the digital space), which explains the ability to publish full page newspaper ads without fear of the budget. I still feel this campaign hasn’t been effective though. This judgement is based on the campaign’s poor execution.
Although, I did have a minorly Marketing/Advertising related thought:
Red Bull should do an advertisement containing someone drinking a can of Red Bull whilst in freefall. It matches their brand image (i.e. “Red Bull gives you wings”, etc.), and would look extraordinary! I envision the can beneath the skydiver (held by them, someone else or shots of a combination of both) and they drink the stream of liquid as the wind catches it & it flies upward into their mouth.
Do it like this (watch what happens when the third guy grabs the bottle towards the end of the video):
NOT like this:
And a note to Red Bull GmbH: I’d like a nice compensation plan for my magnificent ad suggestion. I can be contacted via email.