Word of mouth, or word of mouse (in the online world) is a marketing goal for pretty much every business. This campaign for Melbourne's Metro Trains is the latest most popular viral campaign in Australia – check out the campaign video called Dumb Ways to Die which is a 3 minute cartoon and song style communication, that really sticks in your head (in a sort of annoying way, like the Coles jingle "down down, prices are down").
Chloe Alsop, marketing manager of Metro trains, said the objective of the campaign was based on safety. As reported in a Mumbrella article about the campaign, Chloe said:
“The safety of our customers is our single most important consideration. So it’s terribly sad to see so many preventable accidents or near misses on our train system.”
Launched on Fri 16th November 2012, the video has already reached nearly 12 million hits on you tube (as at Wed 21st November).
How did this happen? What's so good about this campaign? Are these questions are you asking right now?
A follow up article about the Dumb Ways to Die viral campaign on Mumbrella provides some insights. Not taking away from potential marketing strengths of the campaign creative, talked about by YouTube Australia’s Karen Stocks via Mumbrella, who said that this video is unusual in the high number of views on people’s mobile devices. “A snappy headline. A catchy tune that gets stuck in your head. And a message that it easy to understand and perfectly targeted,” she said. “It’s also very shareable,”
Apparently some socially connected people drove a considerable amount of the viewing traffic, with one commentator saying "I think having a main character of TV show Glee tweet about it helps!" and others reporting that social news site Reddit certainly help in providing opportunity for global reach (or should I say luck)
"I think this is a perfect example of how an idea gets distributed in a number of powerful networks like Reddit and spreads very quickly."
What is Reddit? It is a social news website where you can submit content for others to vote on it or share it, giving anyone the opportunity to be found or spread. It can be hit and miss, and this one was obivously in the "hit' category.
From a marketers perspective, despite the viral reach being massive (although seemingly not specifically within Australia), I would question if the campaign has created sufficient impact in terms of brand cut through and target audience perceptions around the importance of train safety being more conscious for commuters.
Do you have any views or questions on this campaign, or on viral marketing generally?
Since I started writing this post less than 24 hrs ago (yes ok I got distracted by my multi-tasking nature) & have heard about the campaign on various other media, such as on the radio news update whilst driving in the car just now. This 'viral popularity' thing has a life of its own as the non mainstream media popularity starts, then the mainstream media pick it up and it keeps growing and growing…
Want to understand Viral Marketing better?
I also found this great Going Viral Visualized infographic that outlines what viral is, why things go viral and how, from a marketing perspective, check it out.