Brands eye weather-sensitive outdoor ads to beat unpredictable weather

Costa Coffee and Stella Artois are among a host of brands relying on weather-activated outdoor ads on digital out-of-home (OOH) panels to negotiate the notoriously unpredictable British summertime.

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Developments in technology mean brands can take advantage of outdoor advertising to create campaigns that adapt to real-time information. Cider brands, which still rely on favourable summer weather often find their advertising at odds with the realities of the weather.

Earlier this month Stella Artois announced it was working with Posterscope to promote its Cidre brand using a temperature activated campaign as competition in the sector intensifies. 

The ad slots run across Posterscope’s network of outdoor sites and will be activated when the temperature rises two degrees or more above the ‘average’ in the specific location using technology from Liveposter in real-time.

If the temperature remains below a pre-agreed ‘average’ then the ads will not be served so the brand only advertises suing its summertime creative when the weather is appropriate.

Andy Logan, marketing manager at Stella Artois Cidre, describes the use of the emerging technology as “pushing the boundaries” in an attempt to be “relevant” to consumers when temperatures peak, and sales of cider typically begin to rise.

Costa Coffee has also worked with CBS Outdoor to develop a two month campaign that uses thermal triggers to promote its Ice Cold Costa range among commuters on the London Underground network when temperatures rise above 22 degrees Celsius.

Each location-specific advert also directs commuters to the nearest outlet where they can buy Ice Cold Costa as they reach the exit of the stations, with campaign planning undertaken by Zenith Optimedia’s OOH arm Meridian.

Meanwhile, brands will be further afforded the opportunity to merge their real-time and weather-based marketing activity with Transport for London (TfL) recently approving BrightMove Media’s TaxiCast system that streams ads to a fleet of London black taxis in real-time. 

Taxicast sells tenancies to brands on roof-mounted ads that can be targeted via time of day, location and weather conditions – both temperature and humidity – via a central hub.

Multiple brands including eHarmony trialled the technology during its test period, and BrightMove Media’s CEO Piers Mummery claims ads can go live within 10-15 seconds of being booked.

The service is set to formally launch later this month with a host of yet-to-be named advertisers ready to launch campaigns on the service with much of the campaign planning focusing on the weather activation function. Similarly, Amscreen, the digital OOH network is also offering advertisers ad slots activated by the pollen count in the vicinity of their slots.

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Marketing Week has partnered with the Outdoor Media Centre (OMC) to create Outdoor Works a conference that will champion best practice and creativity using the out of home medium. Outdoor Works takes place on 18 September.

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