Dumb Ways To Live


54,769,354 views.

That’s the latest, overwhelming number of views that “Dumb Ways to Die” got on YouTube. 


Melbourne Metro Trains in Australia came up with this out-of-the-box public safety announcement because people tend to fatally ignore those warnings. According to John Mescall, McCann executive creative director, “The aim of this campaign is to engage an audience that really doesn’t want to hear any kind of safety message, and we think Dumb Ways to Die will.” (Source: http://www.3aw.com.au/) Using cute animated creatures, the video highlighted the (what else?) dumb ways people do to die preventable deaths such as trying to race a rampaging train at the intersection.  

Chloe Alsop, marketing manager of Metro Trains, explained why they took the shock approach. 
“This campaign is designed to draw people to the safety message, rather than frighten them away. Especially in our younger segments. We want to create a lasting understanding that you shouldn’t take risks around trains, that the prospect of death or serious injury is ever-present and that we as a community need to be aware of what constitutes both safe and dumb behaviour.” (Ibid)
After uploading it on YouTube on November 14, 2012, the “darkly cute — and irksomely catchy — new ad for transport safety” got “a whopping 2.7 million YouTube views in just 48 hours.” (http://www.theage.com.au/) It’s hailed as “Australia’s biggest ever viral hit.” And Melbourne Metro trumpeted that the video “has cut the number of ‘near-miss’ accidents by more than 30 per cent”. (Ibid)

When I saw the video, I thought, “If there are dumb ways to die, there are dumb ways to live, too.”

People tend to ignore safety messages. That’s what the video underscored. And it’s not only in death but also in life as well. There are risks that we shouldn’t take in life such as disobeying God and His moral standards.

Proverbs 28:14 both assures and warns us:  “Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.” The New Living Translation goes this way: “Blessed are those who fear to do wrong, but the stubborn are headed for serious trouble.” We go our stubborn ways because we haven’t experienced serious trouble… yet. Because lightning did not strike us the moment we disobeyed, we mistakenly assume that it’s okay to do so. But the mere fact that we are on a runaway course could be a punishment by itself.

It’s always in our best interest to obey God. That’s why we are commanded, “Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.” (Ephesians 4:17, The Message) There’s still time for us to step on the brakes and change our course.

My take? Live wise, not dumb.

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