What Is Weather-Triggered Advertising?

From our footwear to our weekend plans, everything is subject to change according to the weather. So why should advertising be any different? With so much of life weather-contingent, it only makes sense that your marketing tactics should adapt as well.

Weather-triggered advertising lends context and legitimacy to messages that otherwise might seem formulaic or esoteric. Weather-targeting capabilities leverage real-time meteorological data that can take your contextual advertising out of the troposphere and into stratospheric new heights.

Understanding Weather-Targeted Marketing

Weather-triggered ads come in a few different forms. First are display ads that run on or through weather sites and apps, such as Weather.com or Weather Underground. Second are display and text ads through non-weather sites and search engines, where the ads are activated and/or bidding is triggered by weather conditions in the user’s location.

For example, say you own an HVAC company and are running a special on an air-conditioner tune-up service. You set ads featuring the special to show on Weather.com when the temperature reaches 90 degrees or higher. You can bet on those days that customers with nonfunctional AC will be much more receptive to your ad, which looks timely and relevant.

But perhaps even more powerful are the paid search advertising campaigns that this same HVAC dealer can run. By automatically adjusting bidding upward for key terms during peak times (think “air conditioner repair” on a sweltering summer day), these campaigns can take full advantage of the weather-driven surge in search volume.

The same goes for a spot you run in a user’s Facebook or Twitter news feeds with the same conditions. Users see contextually relevant ads precisely when they’re most relevant, allowing brands to take full advantage of narrow, need-driven buying windows. With weather-triggered ads, you quite literally can strike when they iron is hot.

Do Weather-Triggered Ads Work?

Several major companies have enjoyed incredible success with weather-targeted marketing. In 2013, for example, Pantene, the hair-products company, was struggling to gain traction with consumers. In a savvy attempt to make a comeback, Pantene shifted its focus to weather-related hair issues.

The company determined the weather conditions that caused these hair catastrophes, such as dry heat and humidity. Pantene then posted ads on sites that forecasted these hair-unfriendly conditions that also showed discount coupons and directions to the closest store.

The result? Thanks to its meteo-targeted marketing strategy, Pantene experienced a 28-percent increase in sales as well as more than 600,000 social impressions.

Lipton Iced Tea experienced equally impressive results with its thermo-triggered campaign to reach 18-24-year-olds during the summer. Using Facebook mobile, Lipton served an ad with associated video and photo content when certain temperatures hit. The campaign reached almost seven million people and earned Lipton a 12.8-percent video view rate. The campaign’s cost paled in comparison to those results.v

BMW and Molson are two more brands that are at the forefront of weather-responsive advertising. And many more advertisers are guaranteed to join as this practice continues to grow in popularity and the high-ROI potential becomes more well-known.

Increase Your Spend Efficiency and ROI

Pay-per-click (PPC), social and display ads, and email SMS marketing can make your marketing dollars go further when they correspond to the consumer’s weather conditions. Because you hyper-contextualize your message, you infuse your communication to the viewer with legitimacy. As a result, you’ll see very few squandered impressions, which translates into a meteorically higher engagement rate than with generic advertising.

Weather conditions influence consumer clothing choices, mood, and plans. This means these patterns can and do affect consumer behavior. Timing certain ads to automatically appear as the weather changes will make your communication more useful to consumers, thereby making them more receptive to your message. Weather-triggered ads appear contextual and legitimate to the viewer, and your engagement rates and ROI will reflect the power they can have over generic messaging.

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