Monday, January 28, 2013

If I didn’t work in marketing, I’d conduct a subway train.

Seriously. Ask anyone who really knows me and they’ve heard me say it.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) just upped the cost of my monthly pass by 16%, but I can’t help it. I love mass transit by rail. I’m obsessed with it.

Urban Ingenuity

There’s something about it all I can’t help but marvel. 

The always-on, always dirty crawl; the crazy people you see, (or try to avoid seeing); it’s one wild ride – even when stopped motionless between stations. I love it all!

And so, while this weekend was particularly quiet, I combed the web for old subway train advertisements and stumbled upon this stroke of brilliance produced by McCann for Melbourne Metro Trains just last November.

Dumb Ways to Die a message from Melbourne Metro Trains produced by Tangerine Kitty.

Why does it work?

1. It’s catchy.
"Use your private parts as piranha bait?!" Damn catchy, I’d say. The track produced by Tangerine Kitty is available on iTunes, which leads me to believe I’m not the only one that can’t stop swaying along to the refrain long after my headphones fall silent.

2. It’s adorable. (Even with vomit and blood and implied murder by Friday the 13th-like slasher).
There’s no preaching in the campaign. Serious PAs can lose impact with too much repetition and no one wants to be emotionally manipulated.

3. It’s universal.
I don’t have to live Down Under to get a chuckle out of the campaign – each character’s simple story transcends the context of the region for simple, mass appeal. And I must say I was a bit surprised not to find product versions of the characters available online for purchase. Plush dolls, stickers, or collectible figures – they have broader market potential!

It’s marketing gold.

When they start swaying during the refrain, each time growing in numbers – you just can’t help but smile. And it’s January – the LONGEST month EVER. We could all use an extra smile or two. :)
Sample print.

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