Australian transport safety clip 'Dumb Ways to Die' goes viral on YouTube with 17 million hits
With almost 17 million hits on YouTube in one week, Melbourne Metro's new transport safety message, which portrays colourful dancing cartoons singing about 'dumb ways to die' has gone viral among internet users.
From the dulcet, acoustic guitar intro to the soft sweet female vocals, you could almost be forgiven in thinking the latest viral video sensation on YouTube is a new Julia Stone-esq music single.
That is, until you realise the lyrics accompanying the folksy tune are listing for you in detail "dumb ways to die".
Made by Melbourne Metro Trains to promote safe use of the transport system, the video features colourful round cartoon characters choosing unusual and sometimes violent ways to die.
The appealing starring characters meet a series of increasingly improbable grizzly ends, including eating a two-week old unrefrigerated pie, taking their helmet off in outer space and keeping a rattlesnake as a pet.
It concludes with "the dumbest ways to die" i.e. standing on the edge of a train station platform, driving through a level crossing and running across the tracks between platforms, and the message: "Be safe around trains".
The video has enjoyed a remarkable level of popularity, with almost 17 million hits on YouTube in one week, with a significant number viewing from Asia.
The clip's creator John Mescall said its level of popularity surprises him.
"The decision to mix a morbid subject matter with saccharine levels of cute is what ultimately made it funny I think." The Australian Times.co.uk quoted Mescall, as saying.
"Ultimately, it's an ad that doesn't feel anything like an ad. It's happy and silly and joyful and clever and more than a little odd; the intangible things that are so hard to rationalise, but so very important," he added.