Dear PoP – What Happened to the digital metro ads?

Ghosts in the Metro Light
Photo from PoPville flickr user Bogotron

“Dear PoP,

Whatever happened with those internal digital metro ads between metro center and gallery place and union station? The screens are still there, but they don’t run them anymore. Any info?”

When I first noticed these ads I thought I was hallucinating. This is the first I’m hearing that they’ve come down. If I can get a response from WMATA I’ll be sure to update.

In the meantime I’m curious what you guys think – did you like these ads, find them annoying, or were indifferent to them?

13 Comment

  • I always loved the ads – rather, I loved watching people of all ages gawk and smile at the ads. It brought a little bit of happiness to the commute. And helped Metro not cut service. Everybody wins! Hope to see them come back soon.

  • They were a curiosity for sure, but I bet they were a pain in the ass to put up/take down, and they really didn’t work right unless you were looking at just the right angle, and going just the right speed.

  • I wonder with the switch to manual operation after the fatal crash last year, if the inconsistent train speeds made the ads not as legible as they should be.

  • I would have enjoyed them more if they changed them a bit more often. The Coraline ad was up for waaaay too long!

  • I loved the ad for the tv show Daybreakers, which was up for months after it got cancelled. Other than that, I’m all for plastering ads of all types all over Metro if it will keep fares from hiking. I never understood why they don’t have more ads anyway.

  • If they generate money for metro… I say keep them. We need every dime we can get.

    on a creative note, I thought they were interesting… and they really didn’t bother me.

  • Anything that helps keep the prices down is a good thing.

    Maybe the WMATA can sell of naming rights and we could all ride for free?

    “Pepsi Line in the direction of Franconia – Springfield!”

  • I used to live in Paris, whose metro system also had subterranean digital ads. When they appeared in DC, I thought it was a signal that we really were on our way to becoming a major world city in addition to a capital, like Paris and London.

  • Larger Metro ad issue building off of what others are saying: why are Metro ads so crucially out of date? Buses, trains, stations… it would be funny if the system weren’t hurting for money. There was a Feria de la Familia ad from 2008 up in Twinbrook until like last month!? And that’s just par for the course. With Metro needing money so badly, don’t you think they could get a few folks in the ad department to work it a little and keep the ads up to date? What a missed opportunity. I would normally say, “Well, they must have a good reason” (assuming that smart folks are considering it seriously), but I don’t think I trust Metro like that anymore. And it just looks silly.

  • On the specific thing of the digital ads, Hong Kong has some crazy futuristic amazing stuff between most of the stations and it looks really cool.

  • Are they really digital? I just assumed they were lit signs and the movement of the train created a flip-book effect.

    Also, Metro isn’t responsible for the advertising – they sell the advertising rights to a company and that company deals with it. So empty ads right now aren’t actually hurting Metro – they already pocketed the money.

    • I didn’t think they were digital either. I thought they were more entertaining than blank walls, and assumed that Metro was receiving a hefty sum ffom the advertisers, so I liked them.

  • I loved them! I wish they were in all of the tunnels. It sure beats looking at the people you’re riding with especially if you have to stand.

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