Monday, 26 November 2012

30 million views in a week. An Ad for the Railway on YouTube. Zero media cost. Traditional TV Broadcasters better look out.

Almost 30 million views in a week (250,000 likes), greater than the population of the country it came from - Australia. In fact it's an Ad but also a public service announcement and trust me, they're very hard to get right. 

This, you're going to love.

Now tell me a commercial can achieve that amount of views, almost all unique? And at a media cost of eh, zero, nothing, nada. Traditional Broadcasters need to watch out. This is real competition.

This commercial, broadcast onYouTube, of course doesn't look like a commercial, but rather a piece of animation with a very original, strong music track made to look like an informational piece. In fact it's an Ad for the railway and again, something I know quite well.

I looked after Irish Rail (Ireland's national railways) for many years and helped developed many campaigns including one quite well known called "We're not there yet but we're getting there". I also worked on many safety campaigns for the railway including one called 'Head Height' created by the great John Walsh which won many awards. But this viral for Melbourne Railway, is something special.

Called 'Dumb ways to die', it's a real clever way of showing you how to behave around trains and does so in an amusing (listen to the lyrics) and visually entertaining way. Ideal for the kids who notably get themselves killed around railway tracks - so it will save lives.

Created by McCanns, the soundtrack is being played at railways stations to remind passengers and railway staff are seeing something they're not used to - smiles. So good for them and good for McCanns and good for Melbourne Railway.

They deserve every award going for cracking something as tricky. I know, I couldn't have done it.