New ads are being produced for Empire Life using the viral characters that it has licensed.
While initial reports that Empire Life, a Canadian insurer, had licensed the “Dumb Ways to Die” characters from Metro Trains in Australia, left people feeling rather confused, now that the company’s insurance marketing campaign has launched, its intentions have become considerably clearer.
The original song and video quickly became a viral hit and managed to win awards along the way.
In fact, it brought home five Grand Prix awards from the Cannes International Festival of Creativity. As the video had been viewed quite widely by consumers around the world, the initial assumption by many people who saw the insurance marketing campaign when it first launched, under the “The dumbest way to die is without life insurance” tag line, was that it was simply a rip off that was meant to look similar to the original content.
That said, this insurance marketing campaign is fully licensed and even includes plush toys.
According to Leah Waymark, the Metro General Manager of Corporate Relations, in an insurance news statement “We have had many companies approach us about licensing ‘Dumb Ways to Die,’ and there are a lot of others who have produced content with striking similarities.” She added that the insurer approached them and, right from the start, requested the use of the unaltered content, “other than the top or tail to make the association with their brand. So this, and a fairly obvious link to the message, got our attention to start conversations.”
As a part of the licensing deal that has been arranged, Metro has also worked with a company called Evolution, which is based in California, so that the characters from the campaign could be transformed into plush toys.
Though Waymark did feel that the insurance marketing deal with Empire could potentially be “a risk,” she also said that they agreed that there were a greater number of positives than negatives. By way of this licensing, Metro has generated enough capital to be able to reinvest in additional creative content. One example is a “Dumb Ways to Die” game app that is currently in the process of being developed.