Continuing to position itself for a big election year, Cox Digital Solutions has reached an exclusive ad sales agreement with The Weather Channel.
Per the deal, Cox Digital becomes the exclusive seller of political advertising across The Weather Channel’s crown jewel, Weather.com.
Part of a larger ad strategy, The Weather Channel pact closely follows a similar partnership between Cox Digital and Yahoo. The two properties, however, offer distinct advantages to Cox, according to Steve Shaw, president of Cox Digital Solutions.
“What Yahoo brings to the ballot in reach and scale, The Weather Channel brings in breadth and depth among local audiences,” said Shaw.
The Weather Channel is the top weather property and the fourth-largest news and information property online, according to comScore. To Shaw’s point, because Weather.com’s 60 million monthly Web consumers must enter ZIP code information to access accurate local weather forecasts, news and information, the site is inherently conducive to delivering highly targeted local political campaign messages.
With these partnerships, Cox Digital is hoping to offer political advertisers scalable options. “Local reach is The Weather Channel’s sweet spot,” said Beth Lawrence, EVP of ad sales and media solutions for The Weather Channel. “Political advertising is Cox Digital Solutions’ area of expertise.”
Cox recently expanded its online ad targeting options to include advertising segmented by congressional district, and opened a Washington, D.C. office. Its targeting efforts combine IP address-mapping with proprietary data to find voters that an advertiser is trying to reach within a given district.
Spending on political advertising overall in 2012 is expected to hit $4 billion -- up 30% from four years ago, according to a recent estimate by MediaVest. While TV will continue to attract the bulk of ad dollars, spending will be spread across a broader range of media, including social media.