Reston, VA

Remember last summer’s television spots that showed people gleefully dancing around Reston in anticipation of the Silver Line’s opening?

It turns out that those three TV spots did not come cheap. Washington City Paper reports that the three 15-second spots cost nearly a half-million dollars to produce and air.

The TV commercials were part of a package of products to promote the Silver Line, including bags, tiny flashlights, pennants, lanyards and cloths (featuring a map of the Metro system) for cleaning eyeglasses.

Metro’s also spent $22,548.61 for focus groups to study how to pitch the Silver Line, and $53,196.96 for Silver Line street teams to hand out items, says City Paper.

But the commercials — which promised some sad sacks better things ahead such as a richer social life and a great new job once the Metro opened — were by far the costliest.

Says City Paper:

But Metro’s biggest–and priciest–push came in the form of dozens of dancers boogieing to the Wiehle-Reston East location. Backed up by a song from Australian power poppers Architecture in Helsinki, a conga line of joyful commuters make their way to the station.The message: Metro’s so great, people in Reston will start spontaneously dancing. That ad ran the cash-strapped system a hefty $483,320.42, according to Metro records.

Whatever you think of the ads, they worked–or something. Three months after the Silver Line launch, the new stations were approaching their end-of-year ridership goals. No word yet on how much of that can be attributed to the dancers.

How’s your Silver Line experience been so far? Do YOU feel like dancing? Or mainly just getting from Point A to Point B without incident?

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