Weather targeting, or weather-based advertising is the practice of targeting consumers by local weather (past, current, or future). In other words, serving ads, or delivering promotions which correspond to the viewer’s weather conditions. For example, adverts for 4x4 SUV’s could be served to consumers experiencing icy or snowy weather, or antihistamines could be promoted to audiences located in areas where there is a high pollen count. There are a number of ways to do this, but the easiest and most reliable way is through a weather targeting platform like WeatherAds, which enables users to trigger ads and automate bid adjustments based on real-time weather information.
For proprietary ad technologies such as Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs), Weather-based advertising is typically achieved through the integration of a robust 3rd party Weather API such as WeatherTrigger API into the ad platform. This can equally be utlized by email marketing & marketing automation platforms, SMS & push notification platforms, and even Digital Out-Of-Home Signage (DOOH). It can even be integrated into the back-end of an ecommerce website to sync promotions and offers with local weather events.
Weather is a primary determinant of consumer purchase behaviour with everyday fluctuations affecting a wide range of industries - including food & drink, pharmaceuticals, apparel, travel & leisure, home & garden, energy and automotive.
Utilising live weather data enables marketers to tap into these weather-driven patterns of demand and consumer behaviour. For a marketer, this is a great way to legitimise communications, ensuring their messages are relevant, timely, and hyper-contextual.
But the real question is – how well does it work? With all the industry buzz surrounding weather-responsive marketing, what kind of results and ROI does it generate? Well, we’re glad you asked. Here are 4 real-world case studies demonstrating the performance uplift that a weather-responsive ad campaign can yield:
By mapping historical weather data against sales metrics for Cidre, Stella discovered that a 2 degree temperature rise above the monthly norm triggered a sales rise. DOOH billboards were identified as the optimum channel due to their proximity to stores. Stella ran a campaign on a Cost-per-minute basis, activating only when conditions were right to induce purchase intent.
Using weather-targeted advertising had an astounding effect on sales of Stella Artois Cidre:
- Stella Cidre reported 65.6% increase in YOY sales during the period they ran their weather-responsive campaign. (source: Nielsen Sales data 2013)
- Because ads were only shown during optimum conditions, there were no wasted impressions, meaning cost efficiencies of up to 50% were achieved vs a standard digital OOH buy
- The weather-responsive advertising campaign created a lot of buzz and online virality, generating over £15,000 in earned media value.
Molson Coors deployed a weather-triggered campaign that served targeted ads to mobile Facebook users activated by specified local weather conditions. Two types of ad units were served – one set were weather-specific creative and the second set were generic creative. The ads were activated in real-time by thermal and cloud-cover triggers (above 23 degrees and sunny)
The ‘Weather Specific’ ads outperformed the ‘Generic’ ads within multiple engagement categories.
- The ads based on the ‘hot weather conditions’ delivered higher engagement. Users who clicked on ‘Weather Specific’ ads were 89% more likely to click a link, 50% more likely to mention the brand page and 33% more likely to comment as opposed to users who clicked on the ‘Generic’ ads.
- CPC rates on the ‘Weather Specific’ ads were 67% lower than the ‘Generic’ ads.
Fashion retailer La Redoute created a live weather billboard with weather sensors. When the live sensors detected changes in temperature or precipitation, the creative would change accordingly. There was a selection of preinstalled creatives that corresponed to the different weather conditions, with the model either wearing more or less layers accordingly.
- La Redoute weather-triggered OOH signage campaign resulted in a 34% traffic uplift to their website despite the campaign being deployed via an offline channel.
- The campaign generated a 17% sales increase during the time it was running.
Lingerie and swimwear retailer Bravissimo analysed their sales data against historical weather information and discovered that swimwear sales spiked when the sun was shining, regardless of outdoor temperature. They ran a 3-month pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaign for the UK through Google AdWords by integrating data from a live weather feed. The campaign only appeared in areas experiencing sunny weather.
- PPC-driven sales revenues for Bravissimo’s swimwear range increased by 600% during the 3-month campaign.
- Conversion rate of browsers to buyers increased by 103%
There are numerous other case studies available online which show the effectiveness of weather-triggered advertising. Of course, some products and services will benefit more than others - not all are directly affected by weather. However, a huge gamut of industries are – and they will undoubtedly see elevated ad performance and increased revenue growth from leveraging live weather data within their marketing approach. If you would like more information on weather-driven marketing, please download our free White Paper.