INTRODUCTION

HOW TO SAVE LIVES WITH ADVERTISING

In 2013, we all fell in love with a cheeky public service campaign called Dumb Ways to Die. Intended to promote safety on the Metro in Melbourne, Australia, it featured a music video that listed the many foolish ways you could die. They included eating superglue, inviting a serial killer into your home, and selling both your kidneys. At the end, the video said that perhaps the dumbest way of all to die is to get hit by a train.

The video went viral. Viewed more than 100 million times, it was declared by many to be the most successful public service announcement ever. Dumb Ways to Die went on to win every major advertising award, including the most Cannes Lions (the industry’s top honor) of any campaign ...

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