Can’t get a date? Kids bored? Hate your job? The Silver Line is here to help.

The Silver Line is ready to fix all of your problems.

Yes, it will transport you to Tysons and Reston, and eventually to Dulles Airport.

Yes, it will help you get around downtown a little faster.

But don’t forget your real problems — your dating life, your unsatisfying job and your children’s boredom — because the Silver Line is on it.

A series of new advertisements released today on Metro’s YouTube account show just how much commuters like you can get out of the $2.9 billion project set to open July 26.

First up, meet John, a character who looks vaguely like Napoleon Dynamite and whose cat (a paid professional actor named Ferguson) is meme-worthy. The Silver Line is going to get John a date.

“Look alive, John! Good times are ahead.”

Though comical and a little sarcastic the use of a stereotype is most likely on purpose, says Robert Passikoff, president of brand consulting company Brand Keys, Inc.

“You see this and you think, okay, I know some people like that,” Passikoff said. Stereotypes in advertising got metro in a bit of trouble last December, but the new ads seem pretty tame:

The point, Passikoff said, is to remind you, the average commuter, why you need Metro in your life, Silver Line or not.

“In 15 or 16 second spots, what do you expect them to say? It’s new? More comfortable? Faster?” Passikoff said. “They want you to have a reason to use it, and if it’s in an amusing way, that’s all the better.”

The campaign cost Metro $250,000 for airtime and production by Herndon, Va.-based ad agency White + Partners. The ads will begin running on five local television stations on June 30. A fourth ad that is “more celebratory in nature” will debut just before the line opens, said Lynn Bowersox, Metro’s assistant general manager for customer service, communications and marketing.

We’re not sure where you can get one of those fancy Silver Line clocks in every ad, but Metro is passing out Silver Line hand sanitizer and microfiber cloths. Maybe you can take them on your next date or to your new job.

Jessica Contrera is a staff writer at the Washington Post.



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Sarah Kaplan · June 24, 2014