Silver Line Launch
For Metro, the introduction of the Silver Line was a big deal to say the least. Not only was it the largest Metro project since the system was built, it was the first new Metro line in over 13 years. But given Washington’s “car-centric” culture, convincing commuters who had previously lived without access to public transportation to change their behavior and embrace the Silver Line was a formidable challenge.
Qualitative research provided the clues needed to identify a powerful insight. It turns out residents near the Silver Line felt trapped in their neighborhoods. Traffic nightmares had caused them to become reticent to travel into DC. More than an annoyance, it was a significant barrier—keeping our target from enjoying one of the world’s most engaging cities.
More than a simply faster way to work, Silver Line would make living in DC more fun.
The campaign began a month prior to launch with teasers designed to drive anticipation of the Silver Line. Humorous :15 spots depicted individuals whose lives were beyond boring. With a dash of empathy and a pinch of irony we positioned Silver Line as the fun alternative to traffic—the thing that saved the day and snapped residents out of their funk. A copy line emerged as a tag for the campaign. Look alive DC, good times are ahead!
And then the big day came. To celebrate the arrival of this game-changing Metro line, we debuted an epic :60 TV spot. With a cast of over 150 dancers and Metro employees, we staged DC’s largest ever dance number right on a Silver Line platform. Set to the music of Architecture in Helsinki, the “Happy Spot” cut through the clutter of mundane TV ads like a hot knife through butter. It exploded on social media, driving YouTube views to quickly over 1 million. It was featured on national news channels. The spot exemplified the power of emotionally charged creative.
Results? Nothing short of stellar. Awareness of the line? Nearly 100 percent. Ridership goals? Met and surpassed. Businesses impact near Silver Line? Many experienced a discernable sales lift. But perhaps the most impressive result was the halo effect the Silver Line campaign had on Metro’s reputation.
The infectious nature of the Happy Spot and the Silver Line campaign improved the overall Metro approval ratings. At least for a little while.
- Art Direction