Well, this week’s been a bit of a scorcher hasn’t it? Leeds’ beer gardens have been bursting at the seams, there’s been topless sunbathing on Millennium Square, and even the office has had a few pasty legs on show – and Summer marketing initiatives are in full swing.
On Tuesday temperatures in Britain hit a staggering 33.5°C; hotter than Barcelona, Lanzarote, and even Los Angeles! And if you were savvy enough to notice, you would have spotted it not only hijacking the front pages, but your inbox too.
Weather Based Marketing
Unlike Tuesday’s gorgeous sunshine, weather based marketing isn’t new to Britain, it’s been around for some time. The weather is hugely influential in consumer habits; according to research published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology “exposure to physical warmth activates the concept of emotional warmth”, and therefore improves how we feel about certain types of products.
Naturally, there is a case for brands to do this in alternate conditions as well. Back in late 2013 a spout of cold and snowy weather increased Dominos sales by 6%, while products such a soup, portable heaters, and cold and flu remedies will also witness rises.
More and more brands are becoming savvy to this and employing marketing tactics using weather APIs. This essentially triggers a wave of activity from brands dependent on increases or decreases in temperature, displaying billboards, social media posts, and email marketing.
A number of brands have seen huge success in this. Stella Cidre ran a campaign to launch their apple and pear cider using thermo-activated advertising and saw a 65% increase on year on year sales. The system displayed or played the adverts if the temperature rose 2°C above the national average aiming to appeal to consumers at exactly the right time.
Timberland also channel their inner Sian Lloyd and send subscribers emails unveiling the forecast for the days ahead alongside products suiting that weather type. For example, if three-days of rain are forecast, the brand will promote their waterproof range. If it’s sunshine, consumers may be encouraged to purchase sandals or hiking boots.
Naturally, that has always been part of social media strategy too. It’s the most reactive medium for marketing and whether it’s a snow day or one that could set fire to your eyebrows, brands will be screaming for our attention.
What Summer Marketing Efforts Did We See On The #HottestDayOfTheYear?
The hottest day of the year just a few days ago provided the perfect opportunity for brands to make the most of. On Twitter the hashtag #HottestDayOfTheYear was tweeted millions of times and trended all day.
So as you’d expect, brands and organisations were quick to sell their wares…
— Paul Smith (@PaulSmithDesign) July 19, 2016
Promote themselves as the best option in the sunshine…
— CotswoldWildlifePark (@CotsWildTweets) July 20, 2016
Or to simply just earn a little engagement…
— Channel 4 (@Channel4) July 19, 2016
In fact, a number of days on the hashtag is still enjoying reasonable amounts of engagement. A study from wxtrends found that if the weather improved 1°C above the national average sales in soft drinks would rise by 2%, suncare products would see an 11% increase, and a 24% rise in air conditioners. In short, effective Summer marketing has real financial implications beyond the sunny imagery.
— Coca-Cola GB (@CocaCola_GB) July 19, 2016
Experts in Summer marketing Coca Cola were very vocal on Twitter throughout the day tweeting three times throughout the day, while Pepsi remained rather quiet.
Homebase also beat B&Q to the punch promoting a range of fans.
You Got Mail…
The sunshine persuaded many brands to target us via email too. Tempting us with their products while we sit at our desks, mopping our brows and looking outside wanting a piece of the action.
My inbox was no different, and I received a mixed bag of brands offering me some retail therapy to ‘enjoy’ the sunshine.
Deliveroo dealt me the most effective message, reaching my inbox at around 7pm with a short, sweet, and simple message – “we’ll do the sweating so you don’t have to.”
It was timed to perfection; peak dinner time for the nation and the majority of their dining options were available.
Elsewhere, in a similar ilk to Timberland’s email marketing, Millets tried to lure me with ‘Huge Summer Savings’ on a range of sandals and shorts.
It was a busy day for brands, and it’d be interesting to analyse at the success of brands who maximised their marketing output during the hottest day of the year. If the 1°C trends kicked into action, it will have been well worth climbing aboard that bandwagon. I sure enjoyed my pizza anyway…