Residents, Tourists, and the Federal Government: WMATA and OUTFRONT Reach Them All

May 28, 2024

Washington D.C. is more than just the hub of government. It’s also the center of a thriving metropolitan area that includes the suburbs in Maryland and Virginia. What ties the entire DMV together? It’s the region’s robust transit network.

Last year alone, WMATA - the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), also known as Metro - facilitated over 226 million rides across its network, its extensive reach and diverse ridership making it an invaluable advertising channel. OUTFRONT has been the exclusive advertising partner for WMATA for the past 40 years (SOURCE: WMATA).

The D.C. Metrorail and Metrobus serve the entire region, from government buildings employing thousands to commercial zones and residential areas, offering advertisers unprecedented access to a mix of professionals, locals, and tourists.

Advertising at WMATA Stations, The Gateway to Washington D.C.

WMATA’s extensive network of 98 stations are more than just transit nodes. They're gateways to the capital's most frequented government buildings, museums, cultural sites, and trendy neighborhoods. Advertising in these stations allows brands to capture the attention of riders as they commute to work in Federal agencies, visit national monuments, or explore the region’s rich tapestry of attractions.

Station Domination campaigns are particularly effective here. A brand can take over all the media positions at strategic locations like Metro Center, Capitol South, or L’Enfant Plaza, which see thousands of Federal employees and tourists daily. This fully immersive format can create a lasting impression with everything from large digital OOH displays and interactive touchpoints to traditional posters.

WMATA Metrobus media in Washington, D.C.
WMATA Metrobus & Metrorail: Advertising On Board

The average WMATA commute is 25-30 minutes (SOURCE: WMATA), meaning those journeys can encourage sustained engagement with passengers. Interior ads on Metro cars and buses can range from eye-catching ceiling posters to digital displays, offering continuous exposure.

These placements are perfect to engage with detailed narratives or calls to action, such as QR codes that lead to interactive websites or special offers. They're designed to capture and hold attention, turning daily commutes into dynamic encounters with your brand.

DC Metrobus & Metrorail Exterior Advertising: Rolling Billboards

One challenge of advertising here is that billboards are restricted in many parts of the District. Metrorail and Metrobus wraps address that issue by serving as moving billboards, delivering your message all across the metropolitan area. Bus advertising not only reaches commuters but also pedestrians and motorists across diverse neighborhoods, multiplying impressions and enhancing brand visibility.

With partial and full wrap options, your campaign can transform a bus or Metrorail car into a branded experience, ensuring your campaign stands out in the bustling urban landscape.

WMATA Metrorail train wrap media in Washington, D.C.
Audience Insights for Targeted Advertising on WMATA

Here’s why the WMATA rider audience is highly desirable:
  • Accessibility and Walkability: With Washington, D.C. ranked as the #2 most well-connected and #3 most walkable city in the U.S., this community prioritizes public transit and walking (SOURCE: Smart Growth America).
  • Educated and Affluent Demographic: The D.C. region is the nation’s most educated and includes five of the ten richest counties in America. This audience wields influence and spending power (SOURCES: Scarborough,US News).
  • High-Tech Workforce: With coverage including the “Internet Alley” of Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, WMATA reaches the highest concentration of high-tech employees in the nation, an audience that values innovation and quality (SOURCE: CBRE).
Digital Out of Home Innovation at WMATA

Our digital advertising capabilities set WMATA apart as a leader in out of home advertising innovation. The network of digital Liveboards and spectaculars throughout the WMATA system boast advanced functionalities, including 3D ad creative (aka dimensional OOH) and contextual messaging based on real-time data like weather conditions. These technologies enable advertisers to run highly targeted, dynamic ad campaigns that engage commuters with captivating, relevant DOOH content that resonates with the rhythm of their day.

WMATA subway Liveboard in Washington, D.C.
Why Choose WMATA and OUTFRONT?

Our partnership has stood the test of time because we understand the pulse of Washington D.C.'s residents and visitors, and we know how to reach them. By choosing WMATA and OUTFRONT, you leverage four decades of expertise in transit advertising and a commitment to delivering impactful, creative advertising solutions that connect with a wide audience.

This network is more than just a transportation system; it’s a proven platform empowering advertisers to meet people where they are attentive and receptive: in transit. Whether your target is Federal employees, tech workers, or the 21.9 million visitors who come to the capital each year, advertising with WMATA hits the mark (SOURCE: Destination DC).

Explore the potential of advertising on the D.C. Metro and WMATA buses today. Contact us and let's get your message moving through the nation's capital.

Author: Taylor Bailey, Marketing Manager @ OUTFRONT

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