Aussie Super Viral Safety Ad ‘Dumb Ways To Die’ Wins Big At Cannes

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By Anne Lu | June 18, 2013 7:06 PM EST

There are so many dumb ways to die, but only one to win big. The Aussie viral music video “Dumb Ways To Die” has won seven awards at the Cannes Lions International festival of Creativity.

The catchy tune, which was developed by Australian ad agency McCann Melbourne as a transport safety ad for Melbourne Metro Trains, took home the Grand Prix award in the Direct Lions and PR Lions group. It missed out Grand Prix for the Promo & Activation Lions category, but won a Golden Lion for that award, as per AdNews.

The music video was written by John Mescall, composed by Ollie McGill from band The Cat Empire, which also produced it, and performed by Emily Lubitz of Tinpan Orange with McGill providing vocals. It shows cute blobs dying in different “dumb” ways, like poking a grizzly bear or selling their kidneys online, only to dance with the others during the chorus of the song.

While it was originally meant to be a public safety warning for Metro train riders in Melbourne, it has reached a global fame. Described as Australia’s biggest ever viral hit, it has reached the top 10 chart of iTunes within 24 hours of its release. It currently has just a little less than 50 million YouTube.

The words are distinctly morbid, but the adorable fatal characters, the almost softly coloured graphics of the animation, the singer’s comforting voice, and the catchy tune all have softened and even lightened song’s dark message.

It’s not just about cute dead characters and great song, though. It’s about public safety as well. Fortunately, the ad has delivered. According to McCann, rail-related accidents were down 20 per cent after the first three months of the campaign’s release.

And because the song is extremely catchy and many of you who have heard it would surely have it stuck in your head, feel free to sing along with the right words. Here are the lyrics to the award-winning song:

Dumb Ways To Die

Set fire to your hair
Poke a stick at a grizzly bear
Eat medicine that’s out of date
Use your private parts as piranha bait

Dumb ways to die, so many dumb ways to die,
dumb ways to di-i-i-ie, so many dumb ways to die

Get your toast out with a fork
Do your own electrical work
Teach yourself how to fly
Eat a two-week-old unrefrigerated pie

Dumb ways to die, so many dumb ways to die,
dumb ways to di-i-i-ie, so many dumb ways to die

Invite a psycho-killer inside
Scratch a drug dealer’s brand new ride
Take your helmet off in outer space
Use your clothes dryer as a hiding place

Dumb ways to die, so many dumb ways to die,
dumb ways to di-i-i-ie, so many dumb ways to die

Keep a rattlesnake as pet
Sell both your kidneys on the Internet
Eat a tube of superglue
“I wonder what’s this red button do?”

Dumb ways to die, so many dumb ways to die,
dumb ways to di-i-i-ie, so many dumb ways to die

Dress up like a moose during hunting season
Disturb a nest of wasps for no good reason
Stand on the edge of a train station platform
Drive around the boom gates at a level crossing
Run across the tracks between the platforms
They may not rhyme but they’re quite possibly

Dumbest ways to die
Dumbest ways to die
Dumbest ways to di-i-i-ie
So many dumb
So many dumb ways to die

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