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Be Cute and the World Wide Web Will Love You

Posted November 26, 2012 by fran @ 11:58 am

Racking your brain for your next ad campaign gimmick? Here’s an idea: be cute. No, seriously. Try to come up with something thing that’s cute and inject it into your online advertising strategy. Contrary to what some grown-ups may think, cuteness isn’t just for kids and teenyboppers. Being adorable has such a broad appeal that can reach almost everyone, kids and adults alike.

That’s why cute images are frequently turned into memes, delightful kids get featured on TV, and adorable videos so often go viral.

Case in point: The viral “Dumb Ways to Die” video. A public service announcement by Metro Trains Australia, the video warns people about the many dumb ways to die. From poking a stick at a grizzly bear and keeping a rattlesnake as a pet, to running across the tracks between platforms, the campaign aims to reach young people and help prevent “dumb” types of deaths.

The video has some really morbid content in it, but thanks to a catchy song and some adorable characters, Dumb Ways to Die emerged as one of the cutest and most widely shared videos of the year.

With Dumb Ways to Die, not only did Metro Trains Australia successfully accomplish its goal of warning people to be careful, but it was able to do so in the most adorable way possible.

Yep, Metro Trains played their cards right with this one and more companies should definitely follow their lead. But before you start bringing in the cuteness, it’s best to analyze what made the campaign so appealing, in order to really understand how it rose to success. Below are a couple of things that made Dumb Ways to Die so irresistible:

It was sharable

All the components of the video—from its message, to the song, and even the characters—coherently fit together to create an awesome viewing and sharing experience. Everything about Dumb Ways to Die was worth talking (and singing) about. The characters were cute, the song stuck in your head, and the main message was meaningful.

What’s more, Metro Trains Australia made it extremely easy for people to share it. The video was uploaded on YouTube, which of course provides one-click sharing tools for multiple social networks. On top of that, Dumb Ways to Die was also made available for download on iTunes and SoundCloud, which allowed people to listen and share even when they’re offline.

It appealed to almost everyone

While Dumb Ways to Die was originally meant for a younger audience, but it was so good that it ended up attracting viewers of all ages. This is probably because of its extremely relatable message—everyone can benefit from a friendly “be careful” message, every once in a while.

The simple yet catchy song of the video also contributed to its mass appeal. The tune was easy and hummable, the lyrics of the song rhymed, and the chorus consisted of the same words so people quickly remembered it.

Following Suit?

So the next time you’re stuck thinking about your next viral campaign, consider injecting some cuteness into your ads. Consider making people laugh or sing. It may not be the easiest route, but if you can pull it off the way Metro Trains did, it will be more than worth it.

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