Targeting by Weather

Targeting parameters currently available to advertisers - age, income, geographic location, etc. – actually seem a little old school compared to what weather.com is offering their advertisers – targeting by weather. And not just by weather as in snow or rain. Try humidity, wind speed and dew points!

Sound silly? Well, the company recently asked a bunch of questions like, “Do rainy days cause consumers to do more laundry?” and “When temperatures begin to rise, do people start thinking about their summer vacation?” The answer they came up with is "yes" and in response, weather.com announced today that they would increase the number of weather-triggered categories for which advertisers can choose to associate their messages. In addition, the site will also give advertisers the ability to target based on forecasts in addition to current conditions.

"Advertisers choose weather.com for many reasons," said Paul Iaffaldano, chief revenue officer for weather.com. "One aspect that many clients don't immediately think about is the ability to use the weather to their advantage. It affects how people think and feel and can, in turn, have an impact on their decisions. I can't think of a better time to reach a consumer than when they are thinking about an activity or dilemma for which a certain product or offer can assist them."

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weather.com promises to add humidity, UV Index, wind speed, ice, thunder and dew point to its list of targetable weather factors. Advertisers will still be able to target based on the site's original categories, including Snow, Cloudy, Rain, Clear or Wind.

Additionally, weather.com says, advertisers can elect to display their creative during severe weather situations, choose to serve ads based on current temperatures or, as part of this re-launch, display their messages in conjunction with forecasted high and low temperatures and predicted weather conditions. Accordingly, weather.com will expand its list of targetable weather phrases that can be found in either a current conditions or a forecast module. These forty-seven phrases include Blowing snow, Drizzle, Frigid, Hail, Hot, Showers, Wintry mix, Dust, and Mostly clear.

Of course, the traditional advertising industry met the announcement with a certain dose of skepticism. Stephen E. Toler, Managing Principal of MOSBYGREY, said, “Sorry, but this really an "old"concept. When I was with GM's Delco division we used to have radio spots "in the can" with standing schedules around the country to promote automobile battery sales when the temperature went below freezing (that was about 30 years ago). Later, while with an advertising agency and working on a lawn & garden account, we "rolled" our client's advertising for the Spring season by temperature/moisture. That was probably ten years ago.”

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