May 17, 2021
Have you noticed when the sun is shining or rain is pouring, leading retailers always manage to be the first to promote weather-relevant products? For example, leading fashion retailers always seem to be pushing umbrellas, scarves, and woolly hats just as the weather is about to take a downward turn. Read on to enjoy a personal anecdote showcasing why weather data ads are so successful.
The date is Friday the 9th of April 2021. It’s 11:30 am and I’m sitting at home in Rotterdam gazing out of the window in amazement at the glorious sunshine piercing through the clouds. It’s not that sunshine is that uncommon in the Netherlands. It’s that in the past 10 days there’s been a two-day 23°C (73,4°F) heatwave, a day of sleet and snow, two days of strong winds and hail, and now today breaks of sunshine with light rainfall. It’s astonishing.
Though there is something that is perhaps more interesting than the constantly changing Dutch weather. Around two weeks ago, before the yoyoing weather began, I saw product ads for both sunscreen and umbrellas with next-day delivery. Being a marketer for a company with a feed management and PPC platform, I understand automation and how simple it can be to set up dynamic ads using 3rd party data. But still, I appreciated how perfectly timed these ads were. And I thought to myself; “that’s pretty clever”.
The umbrella ad said (and I’m paraphrasing because my Dutch is rusty at best), “Don’t let a little rain take away your sunshine. You can find everything you need for this crazy weather at…”. Now, as a person born and raised in the United Kingdom, owning a brolly is a prerequisite for being a grown-up. On the eve of adulthood, I was gifted an umbrella by my mother so I’d stop coming home soaked by rain. Long story short, I didn’t need an umbrella.
However, the sunscreen ad was a different story. It read,“Two days of sunshine coming up? Two bottles of sunscreen for the price of one!”. Two bottles of Nivea Sun, Protect & Hydrate for the price of one? Not 400ml, but 800ml for a measly €20.00? This was a deal I couldn’t ignore. We were three days out from a two-day heatwave and I had zero ml of sunscreen. “What fortune?”, I mused as I hastily clicked on the ad and added the products to my cart. “How did they set these up so quickly?”… Ah.
I am now the proud owner of 800ml (possibly 750ml after the heatwave) of Nivea Sun, Protect & Hydrate. And you wanna know the best thing? It’s factor 30.
They got me.
Enriching marketing strategies with 3rd party data is fast becoming hugely popular among leading brands and retailers. Though weather-based marketing is leading the way, advertising based on sporting events is not far behind. And it’s really having a huge impact. But why?
Personalization and understanding the wants, needs, and pains of customers is a necessity in modern marketing. If we couple this with our shopping culture having shifted toward immediacy and the right now, it’s clear why being able to create ads that speak to an individual, with an individual pain, caused by an individual moment is the epitome of an ideal product ad in 2021.
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