Weather.com Debuts Weather Polls
Each poll will offer two lifestyle-oriented sponsorships for advertisers. Data from the polling responses eventually will enable advertisers to target messages by behavior, lifestyle habits, location, daypart, and other factors.
The polls reflect weather.com's desire to dig deeper into its huge audience, and to offer advertisers more granular opportunities. In January alone, weather.com racked up 27 million unique visitors as the most visited news and information site on the 'Net, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. It ranked 11th among all Web sites in January. The Weather Channel's Web site has also seen 50 percent growth year-over-year as of January.
Peter Green, who heads national sales for weather.com, told the MediaDailyNews recently that 60 percent of the site's inventory had been sold in year-long contracts for 2004. Most of these were concluded late last year. Green says that the health, travel (business and leisure), tourism, lawn and garden, and airline categories remain strong.
On March 18, weather.com launched a Honda ad using Unicast's new video ad format. It's also working with streaming video--on April 1, the site will kick off Marriott's Top Story video sponsorship. Running through April 30, the program features a 30-second brand ad, and will eventually rotate to highlight Marriott's Courtyard brand. The program, in conjunction with T3, Austin, Texas, is designed to leverage the advertiser's desire to reach business travelers and broadband users.
"You have to be very careful about how to use [streaming video]--in entertainment [content] it makes all the difference in the world," Green says. "Streaming video ads are just awesome, but you [consume] information on the Web differently than on TV. The ads must be more synchronous with the content."
Green cites American Biophysics Corp.'s Mosquito Magnet, a marketer of insect traps, as an example of the types of integrated marketing deals weather.com is building. Mosquito recently teamed up with The Weather Channel and weather.com to launch an integrated marketing program that includes mosquito activity forecasts, trivia contests, and a micro site with mosquito information.
Also new, The Weather Channel program "Road Crew," which debuted last year, will have an online programming component this year. It will incorporate tourism, travel, events, and airline advertisers. The online content will feature details on all the destinations covered in the show, live video, sweepstakes, and other interactive elements.
For weather's popular home page, advertisers are required to buy a full day, for which the site guarantees 3.2 million impressions. American Airlines, Rhinocort, Weight Watchers, and Mosquito Magnet are among the takers.