Fair Weather Advertising

Is it possible to capitalise on weather situations?

A general lack of bread, milk and dignity might have alerted many of you to the fact that it’s been a little chilly the last couple of days. The BBC reported that the snow cost the economy roughly £1bn a day.

However, it is possible to capitalise on weather situations with a little bit of planning and some clever targeting.

Several companies have made good use of weather-based marketing in recent years. As data becomes more active and tangible in delivering adverts to audiences, data resources like the Met Office can be used to create integrated, unique campaigns that will get brands noticed and highlight important messages.

One example is Sainsbury’s Tu clothing campaign last summer (2017). They created a suite of ads showcasing a range of clothing suited to a variety of weathers (perfect for British Springtime). Using Met Office data and precise geotargeting, the supermarket chain delivered weather responsive adverts to digital 6-sheets across the UK. Sunny in Brighton? Sundress and pumps. Windy in Cardiff? Long sleeves and Jeans. You get the idea.

Dove made use of the rain in a clever way as part of its ‘Just One Shower’ campaign in 2014. Using weather data (Forecast.io) they predicted and timed the delivery of a brand-building video advert with big downpour in the heart of New York City, Times Square.



In our own back gardens we’ve noticed a fair bit of white stuff in recent days, what with the Beast and Emma giving the country grief. For one of our clients, it wasn’t so much the snow that was causing problems, it was the subzero temperatures.

The campaign ‘Wrap Up Wales’, from Dwr Cymru, has been running throughout the winter and we’ve been reacting to weather changes throughout the season. The campaign’s main aim is to get people engaged and provide them with information about protecting their home, and (most importantly for the non-profit water company) their household pipes from the cold.

Over this crazy weekend of ice, snow and supermarket brawls we needed to get that message out urgently. We began a run of the adverts starting as the cold weather started to drift in. Within hours the adverts reached thousands across Wales and we saw huge engagement with people looking to find the information and help they needed to protect their homes from the cold weather.



Reacting and providing audiences with relevant, contextual advertising that engages their attention, entertains them or delivers vital information at the right time can really stand out.

Weather can dampen, or freeze, a lot of marketing efforts, but if we’re prepared and reactive enough advertisers and marketers alike can create something great out of a bad situation.