Climate-Controlled Banner Ads

Everybody talks about the weather, according to the saying, but no one does anything about it. Until now, that is. With its aptly named Weather-Triggered Marketing, AccuWeather.com, a State College, PA-based multimedia weather service enables you to tailor banner ads based on local weather conditions throughout the nation.

Haband Online, the e-commerce arm of Oakland, NJ-based apparel marketer Haband, has already taken advantage of the technology. From Jan. 15 to Feb. 15, visitors to the AccuWeather Website who performed weather-condition searches for zip codes where the temperature was below 40 degrees Farenheit saw one of eight banner ads for Haband parkas or winter boots. But visitors searching for information about locales where the temperature was above 40 degrees did not see the Haband ads.

“It’s too early to tell what the results are from the banner ads,” says Haband Online president Jay Baney, “but we are receiving clicks as a result of the campaign. The targeted nature of the ad lets us get a message to someone [for a winter product] when it is snowing.”

AccuWeather senior vice president Michael Steinberg waxes even more eloquent about the potential for this type of targeted marketing. “The weather is different everywhere, and that gives us an opportunity to target a wide range of people,” he says. “If a cataloger is selling raincoats, it can have a banner ad reach people where it’s raining. If it’s selling a salt de-icer, banner ads can reach those people who will have icy weather within the next few days.”

The AccuWeather campaign is Haband Online’s first banner campaign of any kind, Baney says. Neither he nor Steinberg would cite the cost of the campaign.

One drawback to Weather-Triggered Marketing is that it is available only on AccuWeather’s site. Steinberg says that the company, which provides meteorological information for radio and television stations nationwide, has no plans to license out the technology to other Websites, though he doesn’t rule out the possibility of doing so in the future.

And if, say, an apparel cataloger wanted to use the technology on its own Website, Steinberg says capturing the necessary zip code information could be tricky. The cataloger might need to require visitor registration to capture the data.

WHO ARE THE INDUSTRY’S STARS OF TOMORROW?

We need your input for an article for the June Annual Catalog Conference issue.

Fax your picks to 203-358-5823, or e-mail them to ellen_hansen@intertec.com.

Please include the nominee’s name, title, and company, as well as why he or she is a future leader. Also please include your name and phone number or e-mail address.

The deadline is March 30.

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