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My Take: Dumb Ways to Die

This catchy and artsy music video will either make you laugh or make you a little creeped out, depending on your sense of humor.  I thought it was hilarious, especially the character who “sold both kidneys on the internet.”

Would you believe that this is a public service announcement from the rail Metro in Melbourne, Australia?  The video ends with a few montages of people doing dumb things around trains – things that will get you killed.  The video is not all fun and games.  It is ultimately a serious warning to be safe around trains.

So why be so playful with it?  Wouldn’t that offend some people, especially those who have lost loved ones to train accidents?  I can’t speak for the Metro Authority of Melbourne, but I would guess that at the risk of offending some, they wanted to honor those who have died in train accidents by putting out a very catchy video that will get people talking and thinking more about train safety.

Why am I even bringing all of this up?  Because I also spend my time and life delivering a very serious message (theology) in a very unique and hopefully funny and catchy manner (juggling show).  Does the juggling and clowning around take away from the message?  It can, but it doesn’t have to.  Done right, I think using creative, silly, and catchy ways to cover serious content can be very productive and appropriate.

A lot of it has to do with the attention span of humans.  Especially in our media-driven culture, getting people to pay attention to a dry lecture (no matter how important the topic) is like trying to pin jello to the wall.  For example, when was the last time you paid attention to the safety instructions (or saw anyone else who did) on an airplane?  Most of the instructions or safety videos are dry and boring.

But not this video from a New Zealand airline.  They boldly dove into new creative territory with this “Middle Earth” airline safety video.  My guess is that far more people pay attention to the necessary content when the content is delivered in this manner than as just a spoken lecture.

Thoughts?

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