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Death by PowerPoint: 3D animation breaks the mold

When the Victorian rail animation ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ exploded onto the social media scene last November, the extent of its success was a surprise in the ad world.

Exasperated by the rail safety message not getting through, Melbourne’s Metro Trains commissioned the making of a 3D animated video to purvey its public safety announcement.

Now with more than 62 million views on YouTube, the success of the campaign by ad agency McCann Melbourne, speaks for itself – not to mention the raw statistical outcome. According to Metro Trains, the campaign contributed to a 30% reduction in so-called ‘near-miss’ accidents.

The video itself utilises black comedy, and features a variety of cute cartoon characters accidentally killing themselves through acts of stupidity. The video culminates in the final three characters being killed by trains due to their unsafe behaviour.

The success of the campaign illustrates that communicating a serious message effectively needn’t be boring.

A company capitalising on the trend away from the dreaded ‘death by PowerPoint’, is Brisbane’s elearning development company digibox.

The company was recently the recipient of the Brandon Hall Gold Award for Best Use of Video for Learning after they produced videos that helped Xstrata Coal Australia reduce injuries by 50%.

The effectiveness of the Xstrata campaign, and the startling decline in injury reduction didn’t surprise CEO Daniel Bermingham.

“It’s palatable information with a motivation behind why you want to see it. Totally left-field, and an integrated experience for communicating such that it does actually create cultural change. People are so aware of it, and there was a lot of logic and methodology behind it as well,” Bermingham told Dynamic Business.

“We use 3D animation to build these video assets, and the reason why it’s such an effective tool to educate – and I’m not going to say ‘train’ because really what you do is when they walk out of that room they actually are educated and know how to do something differently – is the fact that we can immerse people within an environment that they’re going ‘buy-into’,” Bermingham said.

Communicating a message in 3D animation is done using characters and scenarios in the workers own environment, using their particular uniform and their diversity – that’s the key point which cuts through.

Founded in 2003, digibox has been in Australia for six years. The company has its roots in the aftermath of a safety incident at an offshore location where they was fatalities involved – there needed to be a way to train different groups of people in a variety of environments, in a way that was easily relatable.

At its core, using 3D animation for communication is about giving someone an experiential learning opportunity.

“We want to use the technology to empower whole industries. 3D animation is such that it’s giving someone an experiential learning journey, rather than just simply broadcasting compliance training and the whole ‘We’ve got to tick this box, you don’t want to do it, and we don’t want to have to make you do it, nut the law says you have to do it, ‘ We want to break the mindset and go out there with quite a dynamic, new way of doing things,” Bermingham said.

Photo credit: YouTube

Stephanie Zillmanhttp://www.dynamicbusiness.com.au
Stephanie is the editor-at-large of Dynamic Business. Stephanie brings with her a passion for journalism, business, and new ideas. On her days off, you might find her reading a book on the beach.