Creativity 50 2013: John Mescall

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Call it Cartman 2.0. “Dumb Ways to Die” for Metro, Melbourne’s transit system, introduced hyper-cute animated characters shuffling off this mortal coil in spectacularly stupid ways, set to an infectious whimsical track.

The cautionary tale to Aussie commuters hit viral records and earned at least $50 million worth of global media at a fraction of the cost of a traditional spot. It also took Best of Show at The One Show and no doubt is poised to make waves at Cannes, too. (See our predictions, P. 12).

The idea was conceived from McCann Melbourne, under the leadership of Exec Creative Director John Mescall, an admitted fan of black comedy who also wrote the film’s quirky lyrics. (His favorite “Dumb” darling is Kidney Guy, by the way).

Under his two-year tenure the agency has launched other daring ideas, including a brave campaign for the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, in which problem gamblers documented their struggles to fight their addiction in online videos over 100 days. 


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