Don’t Wait to Winterize Your Advertising Strategy

By Tom Donoghue, Vice President, CTV/OTT

As we all get set to enjoy the traditions of fall such as watching the leaves turn colors, visiting the pumpkin patch with the kids, and enjoying one too many pumpkin spice lattes, marketers should also be thinking about how changing weather conditions could impact the performance of their advertising.

In fact, the winter storm that ripped across much of the United States in early February, which forced Wal-mart to close as many as 500 stores across the South and Midwest (New York Times) is a stern reminder for all marketers to have a winter-proof advertising strategy in place this holiday season. Having the flexibility to pause or even activate in certain weather conditions will be vital to success as brands also face shifting consumer behaviors amid the COVID-19 Delta variant.

Here are three things to “winterize” when building your advertising strategy for the fall and winter seasons:


Follow your audience indoors. Fluctuations in weather conditions turn even the hardiest of outdoor shoppers into “online first” researchers. Cold, rainy, or snowy conditions tend to keep most of us indoors, where we increase our screen time.

INSIGHT: If you want to reach your audience during fall and winter, you’ll have to look for them indoors, where they are likely to be consuming ‘on-demand’ content on connected TVs, tablets, desktops, and mobile devices. Moving some of your linear TV budget towards geo-contextual CTV advertising means better targeting, less wasted impressions, and more measurable ROI.

Rain or shine. Whether your business increases or decreases during inclement weather, it’s crucial to have weather condition triggers in place that optimize the delivery of your advertising when it’s most likely to have a positive impact on your bottom line.

For example, if you own a collision center, flex your ad impressions ahead of, during, and immediately after a snowstorm when vehicle owners are more likely to need your services. If you own a furniture store, consider pausing your campaign during storm conditions when you know foot traffic drops off. Save those impressions for a nicer day when consumers are more likely to venture out.

INSIGHT: Wasting impressions should be a thing of the past by now, yet marketers continue to run campaigns in weather conditions that simply cannot produce the result they need. Marketers should be focusing their impressions on the weather conditions that meet their business goals. This includes working with a digital marketing partner that has weather triggering capability embedded in its ad serving platform.

More Snowbirds take flight this winter. While 2020 showed a drop in Snowbird travel from north to south and west, 2021 appears to be moving back to pre-pandemic travel volumes. According to the Wall Street Journal, about 90% of the estimated 1 million snowbirds who travel annually from Canada say they will head for warmer areas compared with 30% last year. This important shift in travel to warmer climates creates expanded local opportunities for the entertainment, dining, and recreation segments.

INSIGHT: For marketers who want to reach this growing audience it will be important to stay engaged with them throughout the winter by using personalized advertising based on their behavior and visitation patterns within their home location.

Winterize your advertising now, and put your business in a position to succeed, no matter what the weather looks like outside!

Tom Donoghue
Vice President, CTV/OTT

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