Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - 31

EVOLUTION USA LLC

Smart
Moves

Evolution has developed a unique
strategy to launch the 'Dumb Ways
to Die' franchise into the market.
BY JAMIE MORGAN

T

he success of the "Dumb Ways to Die" franchise could be used as a case study in irony.
A public service announcement
that manages to be cool?
Animated short videos that
show silly characters meeting unfortunate and absurd
fates and yet effectively promoting safety? A
program made to benefit the general public that
turns into a commercial success?
These things should not happen, and
yet, they have.
"Dumb Ways to Die" was conceived by McCann Erickson
Melbourne on behalf of their
Australian client Metro Trains
Melbourne. McCann created
short videos showing animated
characters clumsily dying because of shortsighted decisions
- getting toast out of the toaster
using a fork, poking a grizzly bear
with a stick, dressing up as a moose during hunting
season and so on, all to the lyrics of a sing-songy
tune. The last three examples show different characters making unwise decisions at train stations -
standing too close to the tracks, going around gate
crossings as a train approaches, and walking across
the tracks. And at the end, a plea from Metro to "Be
Safe Around Trains."
The PSA appeared in newspapers, on radio and on
outdoor advertisements, but it was YouTube that became the most effective outlet for the campaign. The

videos became viral sensations and extended beyond Melbourne to the rest
of the world in a matter of days as
the clicks and shares grew and grew.
The videos were introduced in November 2012. By May 2013, Metro had created an interactive app
where gamers help the characters
avoid dumb ways to die. That
was around the time Evolution
USA LLC, a full-service licensing,
brand management, product development and sourcing firm, took serious notice.
President of Evolution Travis Rutherford learned
about the "Dumb Ways to Die" franchise in the
same way so many others do - his children shared
it with him. But when he and his colleagues saw the
videos, they realized it was more than just a catchy
song and funny characters.

Travis Rutherford,
president of
licensing and retail
development
www.evomgt.com
Woodland Hills, Calif.

Applicable Solutions
"When we became formally involved with Metro in
June of 2013, we quickly realized there was a greater
January/February 2015

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015

Contents
Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - Cover1
Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - Cover2
Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - 1
Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - 2
Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - Contents
Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - 4
Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - 5
Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - 6
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Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - 8
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Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - 28
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Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - 31
Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - 32
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Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - Cover3
Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - Cover4
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