WeatherAds helps McDonald's Austria stay front-of-mind with weather activations for Facebook
VIRTUE is Vice Media’s multi-award winning in-house creative agency. With its headquarters in Brooklyn and a presence in 21 countries, VIRTUE specializes in channel-agnostic brand platforms, programs and campaigns.
One of VIRTUE Austria's clients is McDonald's Austria. Weather is an important factor in the decision making process for their customers and thus has a big impact on sales, particularly when it comes to things like seasonal promotions. The main challenge for VIRTUE Austria was to integrate in-the-moment weather signals into their paid social strategy to increase awareness of key McDonald's products.
The primary objective was to reach the right audience (Reach/Video Views) on Facebook and Instagram at relevant weather moments, with promotions around two separate McDonald’s offerings. One campaign supported iconic ice cream products such as the ‘McFlurry’ (most relevant on hot days), whilst the second campaign promoted McDonald's’ home delivery service ‘McDelivery’, for which rainy days constitute relevant moments to remind guests to use the service.
Strategy & Implementation
For the Ice Cream campaign, rather than taking the traditional approach of planning set flight dates (e.g. the first two weeks in August), VIRTUE Austria opted to test a thermally-activated, always-on campaign between June and October that was shown to users only on very hot days (above 28°C). For the national McDelivery campaign, VIRTUE Austria built several creative versions for the various regions comprising each delivery area. Users were shown familiar images such as city landmarks, combined with a simple call-to-action. These sets of ads were served during rainy weather moments. “We chose WeatherAds as we could easily test weather-triggered digital campaigns and once we saw promising results we were able to easily scale weather-based targeting to different product categories and seasons/consumer occasions.” said Marcus, a Senior Account Manager at VIRTUE Austria.
VIRTUE Austria achieved spectacular results with WeatherAds. For the ice cream campaign, CPM was 52% lower than with comparable campaigns, Cost-per-View was 58% lower and the Facebook quality ranking was shown as 'above average'. The second campaign (McDelivery) is still ongoing, with quality ranking by Facebook's algorithm also displaying as 'above average'.
“WeatherAds enables us to reach our guests at relevant moments with the right content. That is why we expanded the use of the platform after the initial tests towards always on campaigns and across different parts of the business.”
- Tara Bichler, Specialist Communications at McDonald's Austria.