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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

Los Angeles Metro: "More Trains, More Often"

Silver Honor in Government & Politics

Audience Honor in Government & Politics


After the nationwide sharp drop in transit ridership due to the pandemic, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has appealed to its passengers with memorable social content. As the agency has been able to incrementally improve frequency of rail service, we needed to create a social-first video to announce the good news, rather than fall back on standard static public-information graphics. 

In a region known as the car capital of the world, garnering support for public transportation, and thus our brand, can be a challenge: We are often met with plain indifference or active negativity, particularly about infrequency of service. Anything we can do to counter that perception -- such as widespread and memorable promotion of increased rail service -- helps further our broad goals.

Strategy and Execution

We created a video entirely in house, including original audio that landed on Instagram's trending audio page. The heavy metal/monster-truck-rally look and feel of the video is unexpected from a government account, yet clearly resonated with our audience, and far beyond: The video quickly garnered nearly 8M plays across platforms, 600k engagements and thousands of new followers. It was shared over 200k times, with positive comments in over a dozen different languages, many of them calling out and tagging their own local transit agencies to "take note."

Although we have had great success utilizing trends and meme content on Instagram, we decided to take a more original approach with this video. Current industry trends indicate that platforms are shifting away from rewarding reliance on meme content and encouraging production of original content. Our video editor created an original vocal track to layer over an existing royalty-free music track as well as distorted graphics, with a heavy-metal theme familiar to anybody who's tuned into the radio in the 1990s/2000s and heard ads for monster-truck rallies. This added element of nostalgia aligns with our primary demographic on Instagram -- younger Gen X, Millennials and older Gen Z.

We utilized short-form video not only because our analytics have consistently shown that short-form video content, above all other formats, tends to be shown to disproportionately high numbers of non-followers. By taking advantage of this algorithmic tendency, we were able to reach a far larger audience than we would with a static post.


The video quickly garnered the following: 

-nearly 8M plays across platforms 

-reach of over 5M viewers across multiple continents

-650K engagements 

-roughly 10K new followers in the span of a few days, propelling our follower count to over 100K 

-over 200K reshares, with positive comments in over a dozen different languages

These Stories shares often featured additional commentary from the person sharing, expressing surprise and delight that the video was posted by a government account or that the video caught their attention, or calling out their own local transit agencies to "take note."

Our Instagram account, already the most followed of any transit agency in the nation, saw a surge of followers as a result of this video. We are able to maintain a presence and stay at the top of Angelenos' minds in our daily struggle to be Los Angeles residents' first choice for getting around the region.


Video for Los Angeles Metro: "More Trains, More Often"

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority


Entry Credits