Washington Metro Silver Line Honored with Marketing Campaign of the Year

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The Washington Business Journal recognizes Metro’s Silver Line at Best in Business 2014 awards gala

Jo Greene, Director of Advertising and Marketing at WMATA (second from left) with WHITE's Metro Team

WHITE is about using creative to deliver results for our clients, and there is no doubt that this innovative campaign added a great buzz factor to a service launch that was highly anticipated in the national capital region.

Metro and its agency of record, WHITE, have been honored with a Washington Business Journal Marketing Campaign of the Year award for their Silver Line campaign. They joined fellow honorees ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge” and Navy Federal Credit Union at the Best in Business 2014 awards gala.

“We are proud to partner with WHITE to communicate the attractiveness of Metro services through smart, entertaining messages,” said Assistant General Manager for Customer Service, Communications and Marketing Lynn Bowersox. “This recognition from the business community is an important reminder of Metro’s economic value to the region and the need for continued investment in rail.”

The Silver Line marks Metro’s largest project since 1976, and its first new line in 13 years. The Silver Line marketing campaign reflected a key insight that any D.C.-area resident can relate to: traffic makes people think twice about going anywhere. Positioning the Silver Line as an attractive alternative — a transportation “hero” that opens opportunities for work, socializing and family fun — was at the heart of the campaign’s success.

The campaign began with teasers that focused on the pre-Silver Line, anti-action lifestyle. Pairing irreverent messages with shots of bored, inert families and individuals, the spots stood out from the usual.

When the Silver Line welcomed riders in late July, it was time to celebrate. The campaign took a turn from apathy to exuberance with a launch spot displaying the genuine joy that people felt about the opening of the much-anticipated new line. The launch ad blended the interests of all stakeholders, featuring residents, riders, business leaders, and Metro employees joining the celebration. Messaging from the teasers and the launch continued to be displayed in a variety of other media, including online native advertising, cinema, airport TV, radio, print and outdoor.

The Silver Line marketing campaign garnered significant regional coverage, which helped drive overall market awareness from 62% to 91% by May 2014, three months prior to the launch of the Silver Line. Nearly 220,000 trips were taken to or from the five new stations during the first week of service alone. During that first week, 15,942 individuals boarded a Silver Line train each weekday, putting Metro on track to meet or exceed projected ridership goals. By August 2014, 8 percent of the region had used the Silver Line in its inaugural month and another third had plans to ride.

“WHITE is about using creative to deliver results for our clients, and there is no doubt that this innovative campaign added a great buzz factor to a service launch that was highly anticipated in the national capital region,” said WHITE Chairman Matt White.

From a dry, tongue-in-cheek teaser campaign to a catchy, cheerful launch the tone of these Silver Line communications has triggered empathy and widespread interest in Metro. For area riders, Silver Line means that good times are indeed ahead.

About WHITE

White was founded in 1964 as Nolan Duffy and White by E. James White who had a passion for creative that delivered results. With media consumption continually changing, WHITE provides clients with integrated, winning solutions. For more information, please visit us online at white64.com, Facebook and Twitter.

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