'Dumb Ways to Die' the all-time most awarded campaign in Cannes Lions' history: 5 Grand Prix, 18 Gold Lions, 3 Silver Lions, 2 Bronze Lions

dumb_ways_to_die.jpgCANNES became McCANNES last night as McCann Melbourne celebrated the addition of two Grand Prix, three Gold Lions, a Silver and Bronze at last night's awards.

The official haul, which smashed previous record holder 'Best job in the world' - also from Australia via SapientNitro, Brisbane - is a staggering five Grand Prix, 18 Gold Lions, three Silver Lions and two Bronze.

Mescall-Baron-double-grand-prix.jpgDWTD was the most loved campaign of the week. During his acceptance speech when awarded the Lion of St Mark, ad legend Lee Clow said "I wish I did Dumb ways to Die', and fellow legend Dan Wieden said, "this is the campaign everyone here wishes they did" after it won the Integrated Grand Prix.

After those comments McCann Australia ECD John Mescall (far right), who wrote the campaign (which was art directed by Pat Baron -near right - and animated by Julian Frost) told CB: "It was a very nice moment".

23 Comments

Razor said:

Music track was pretty good also. How about a credit to Olly McGill ?

pop said:

Well done McCann! Australia is proud of you.
Australia did well all round. Lynchy, can we get a tally of all the lions won and the agency that won them?

Dave D said:


Wow, 2 bronze, that's rad!!

Hot hot hot! said:

Surely McCanns has got to win agency of the year for hot and cold off this. They also had two other well awarded and good campaigns - smashed clems, Patts and every other agency out of the park.

Grumpy said:

Whilst the campaign is great, one should not forget that Cannes is adding more and more categories every year so as to extract even more money from gullible agencies so the overall haul isn't really comparable even to recent years.

Sign Of The Times said:

And it never once ran on TV.

Razor said:

Wonderful news. The music's great as well http://www.ommm.com.au/

What you talkin' 'bout Willis? said:

I can't believe how unsupportive these comments are. Are you people for real? It was a wonderful and memorable campaign. What a bunch of arse clowns you are.

Well done John, Pat and Julian - and everyone else who had a hand in this piece. Time to expand the trophy cabinet...

@Grumpy said:

Well said.

Ben said:

I must be the only bloke in the world who didn't think it was THAT good. Sure I liked it, and if a 20% reduction is true then that's brilliant, but the best at Cannes ever?

Surely not?

Don said:

Interesting that there is no MADC this year. My guess is that Clems and Patts don't want to play anymore if they can't win. Grow up!

yep said:

Well done and thank fuck, otherwise Oz's best would have been small turd machines.

A different Ben said:

Love it. And great that it won. Maybe not my personal pick for 'best ever at Cannes' but then again there's probably a reason I'm not getting paid to get shizzle-faced in the Riviera at the moment.

Glenn said:

Clems and Patts have, year after year, won gold at cannes. This year, dumb ways was deservedly an explosive winner. What will be more interesting, is now that it is over, what they do next. Remembering of course that best job won 3 Grand Prix, and now sapient are where exactly?

Whilst nothing can be taken away from "the best campaign in the history of Cannes"' as Lee Clow sais at the festival, the true sign of a champion is if they can do it year after year.

I wish them well on their difficult second album.

Gary Coleman said:

@what are you talking about Willis?

Grumpy speaks the truth. And he did preface his remarks with 'the campaign is great'.

I don't think we want to rain on John & co's moment in the sun, just put it into context.

Fact is, awards are being devalued by their proliferation. Not just Cannes - D&AD, AWARD, it's happening everywhere.

For an industry that's supposed to be marketing savvy, we are a pretty gullible lot when it comes to shiny doorstops.

Rich said:

@Ben. Mate, I have to agree with you. There's a lot going for this campaign. 50 million + hits. Lovely craft. Extremely likeable and catchy.

But i can't help but feel like there is no real idea. Sure there's a strategy, and an execution. I just can't see the idea. In fact, i couldn't even tell you what it is in a sentence. The message feels buried, and slapped on the end.

It's a really awesome piece of work. But the best of all time? I'm not so sure.

Saying all this, it's great to see an Australian campaign get up like this, and what's best it's come from an unlikely source in McCann. Congrats to all involved, I wish your trophy cabinet was mine.

I hope what i've written doesn't sound too cynical or negative, because it's not mean't to be. Just thought i'd start a conversation. Cheers.

how many? said:

Goodness that's a lot of awards for one piece of work. I remember the Grand Prix being just that, perhaps the whole event is now just a big over blown spend fest. Well done team anyway, but sticking that many medals on the chest looks a little like the gaddafi way to die.

life saver said:

How many lives has it saved?

Jiji said:

@Rich. The idea is probably easy to miss because it's stupid-simple: to die on the tracks is a stupid death. Just as stupid as... and the execution follows. That's all there is. But truly, I also have a problem with it being talked about as the all time best. It's good, it's great, it's fun, but on the other hand the idea isn't so surprising and the web site plus a couple of other executions in the mix were not so well crafted. And it's also a public service campaign. For this reason I wouldn't have given it more than one Grand Prix in the first place. Maybe not even one. I don't want to sound negative either, but I don't like it when in such important contexts as Cannes, trends and followers create a possible snowball that uncontrollably gets bigger than it's worth it. And it ultimately sets disputable criteria.

I was there said:

"I wish I did dumb ways to die"
- Lee Clow

"Dumb ways to die is the campaign we all wish we did"
- Dan Wieden

"A great, reductionist idea perfectly executed"
- David Lubars

That'll do me.

just to be clear said:

Lee clow closed his lifetime achievement speech by saying "I wish I did dumb ways to die" surely that us as good a compliment as the big metal haul.

@Lifesaver said:

Meanwhile, out in the real world.... My kids love it, they and all their friends can't stop singing it - and best of all, they get the message too.

Before this ad came along rail safety messages were literally in one ear and out the other. I can't think of any, can you?
Good on 'em. I'd be more than a little proud to have that on my reel.

JY said:

Well done Frosty!!!

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