AN internet ad featuring 'dumb ways to die' has become the Gangnam Style of train safety campaigns, clocking up more than 8.5 million YouTube views and 13,000 plus comments.

Dumb Ways to Die is a beautifully animated Melbourne Metro Trains transport safety ad which features colourful characters singing a catchy tune as they set fire to their hair, poke a stick at a grisly bear, get their toast out with a fork or use their private parts for piranha bait.

The video is also designed to demonstrate the danger and stupidity of playing on train platforms, tracks and level crossings.

The myriad of other dumb ways to die illustrate the stupidity of messing around trains.

The song is performed by Melbourne artist Tangerine Kitty, the song was produced by Cat Empire keyboards player Ollie McGill.

Along with the song and clip on iTunes and YouTube, Metro Trains are developing posters and announcements at stations and educational material for school students.

The video on Youtube has sparked a flurry of comments - ranging from claims it is 'racist' because it fails to feature enough skin tones to questions from people wondering whether it is real advice.

One questioned whether taking out of date medicine could really kill you, as proclaimed in the ditty.

 

The video was on the front page of Reddit for six hours, helping it to go viral.

 

The ad's writer McCann ECD John Mescall  told media and advertising site Mumbrella: "Of course, we wanted it to go viral, but it's rare that all the elements you need fit into place. Just one thing could kill it."

"If it wasn't catchy enough, or the safety message had come at the beginning and not the end, it wouldn't have worked," he said.

"People don't want to share advertising. They want to share stories and content. Dumb ways to die is very likeable. And if you really like something, you want to share it."



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