With the weather getting dicey out there (at least here in Aurora, Illinois), a weather-related blog post seemed timely. Instead of focusing on the snow or temperatures, I thought I’d shine some light on what The Weather Channel has been doing these past few weeks in terms of their advertising.
Paul Walsh, a former U.S. Air Force meteorologist, came to the popular channel about six months ago as a VP of weather analytics. Surprisingly, that’s not the most notable thing about him; he’s spent over ten years helping companies determine how changing weather patterns could affect their business. What’s his job at The Weather Channel, exactly? He’ll sell targeted weather predictions to advertisers on the channel so they can better reach their target markets.
Does this seem confusing and jargon heavy? Essentially, if weather patterns hint toward abnormally cold weather in Chicago next week, then The Weather Channel could tell companies to start advertising their heavy-duty products like sweaters or coats. This will help the stores move their inventory faster and help TWC sell advertising quicker.
In an interview with AdWeek, Walsh said: “Understanding what kind of retail behavior the weather is influencing gives us the ability to help our advertisers deliver the precise, right message at the precise, right location.”
Makes sense to me. Why advertise a sale on hats and scarves in Iowa during December if they’re experiencing a warmer-than-normal winter? Or, on the flip side, if rain is headed toward New York in July, then it’s probably a good time to stop airing commercials on your swimsuit sale and focus on the fantastic umbrellas you have.
Barry Lowenthal, president of the media agency The Media Kitchen, said, “Weather-triggered media is nothing new; we’ve bought it before. But usually, that advertising is done on a daily basis. So the idea that we’d have more time to plan and adjust inventory accordingly could be a nice opportunity.”
We’ve all probably noticed that the ads next to an online weather report change daily, just like the weather. This same idea will be applied to advertising on the actual weather station, too.
Not only will Walsh’s position help The Weather Channel maintain their advertisers to pay for all their programming, but he’ll also help companies sell more of their merchandise. Even though only one undisclosed company has signed up to test this new service, parties on both sides have high hopes for ‘Weather on Demand,’ which is the current name they’re going with.
What are your thoughts with this new service, do you think it’ll help stores and companies move their inventory? Would you pay more attention to ads featuring coats if you knew colder weather was coming rather than just airing commercials when winter “officially” started? Will you watch The Weather Channel now because of this service? Sound off below!