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Weather Channel ramps up dynamic ad targeting initiative

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By Jessica Davies, News Editor

February 11, 2013 | 3 min read

The Weather Channel is stepping up plans to help brands unite offline sales data with its own weather data to drive dynamic ad targeting.

The NBC-owned channel has appointed Lindsay Wiles as strategic sales director to drive the initiative, which focuses on driving its new weather data service WeatherFX, launched this January.

The aim is to overlay clients’ sales data with weather data to create predictive analytical models and let advertisers run weather-triggered, location-based messaging across the web and mobile devices.

Wiles, formerly head of international mobile at mobile ad sales agency 4th Screen, told The Drum it aims to help brands better understand how to create value from data that has been gathered over several years.

“Many FMCG and utilities companies, for example, have years’ worth of data they have collected and this is geared towards helping them make sense of it. Some brands are very savvy about the effects of weather on their brands and sales, but they don’t necessarily know how to correlate that to a digital campaign. This is what we want to work with them on,” she said.

Different weather patterns across the UK trigger certain consumer purchasing patterns, according to Wiles. “We know in Manchester once the temperature hits over 22 degrees Celsius it creates a BBQ halo effect, whereas it needs to be at least 25 degrees Celcius to trigger the same effects in the south,” she said.

Campaign messages can be tailored depending on real-time weather data meaning different creative can be sent depending on the weather in any target region.

Wiles said it plans to work with third parties to incorporate demographic targeting to the current offering further down the line.

It will also roll out branded takeover ads for its smartphone and tablet apps later this year. This will build on activity it ran with Burberry last year in which people were served display ads according to their location or the location they were searching for within the app.

“Weather has been at the forefront of so many retailers’ minds for so long, but now, but by harnessing the data, now so rich, we can prove what retailers have previously only been able to infer,” added Wiles.

Quaker is among the brands trialling a weather-triggered campaign, currently running on the Weather Channels’ mobile and desktop sites. It is using Weather Channel’s Adaptor technology, which can deliver dynamically tailored creative messages dependent on their location and climate.

Below 5 degrees the advert reads 'It’s cold outside...Feel warm inside'. Above this temperature the advert changes to say 'When it’s cold outside...Feel warm inside'. The 'ADaptor' format pulls in real-time temperature data into the creative. The campaign was planned and bought by OMD UK.

The Weather Channel has 7.5 million unique users in the UK across web, mobile and tablet, 175 million globally, provides weather information for more than 2,900 UK postcodes.

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