Ad Technologies, Trends

Back to the Future: How Weather Targeting Develops the Seventh Sense in Digital Advertising


Weather-based advertising? It’s actually not an entirely new idea, yet meteorological data quality is better than ever before. Together with the weather service provider UBIMET, adverserve developed a new advertising solution which enables brands to reach their target group with the exact message they need at just the right time based on weather data. The result: Maximum advertising effect, minimal scatter loss.

Autumn is coming to an end and the ski season is just around the corner. For real ski fans, it’s all about one thing: the perfect first day of skiing in fresh powder and sunshine. Ski resorts that guarantee these dream conditions in their advertising message are sure to have a successful start to the season. However, is it even possible to guarantee sunshine and fresh snow? 

“Absolutely,” says Thomas Gigl from the weather service provider UBIMET, and we from adverserve couldn’t agree more. adverserve and UBIMET joined forces to develop a new advertising solution that integrates weather targeting. While public weather data is usually not accurate enough to improve targeting in programmatic campaigns, we have now reached a new dimension when it comes to precision.

UBIMET has significantly improved weather forecasts and challenged the monopoly of state-organised weather services. While the public weather forecasts in Austria are based on a grid whose individual cells measure 12 x 12 kilometres, UBIMET can predict the weather based on 100 x 100 metre cells. “What sets us apart from traditional weather suppliers? Highly precise and very accurate data,” describes Thomas Gigl the unique selling point of UBIMET.


Precise Weather Targeting Requires Precise Forecast Data

Thomas Zant, Managing Director of the adverserve Holding, has already written about why accurate data is gold in this blog post. Every form of relevant data stored in the ad server can be used by advertisers to improve targeting. In order to address the target group as precisely as possible with suitable advertising messages, the quality of the data is of paramount importance. For weather targeting, this means that the weather data and forecasts stored in the ad server must be as accurate as possible.

For example, OpenWeatherMap provides convenient API access to its weather data. The forecasts are available for 200,000 cities and for every latitude and longitude. The open source provider works according to a crowdsourcing principle and derives some of its weather information from around 40,000 weather stations, many of which are operated by hobby meteorologists. The problem: If a weather station is installed on a balcony or too close to a building, then the information is not suitable for providing reliable weather forecasts.


How UBIMET Evolved From a Start-Up into a Global Player

UBIMET has solved this problem with its own forecast algorithms, which are constantly being developed by a team of meteorologists, computer scientists, physicists, biologists and geographers. In addition to being used in consumer portals, Unwetterzentrale and Morecast, the weather forecasts are also used by Formula 1 teams such as Red Bull Racing or in high-end industrial applications. The former start-up has become one of the largest and fastest-growing weather providers. Half of the UBIMET share is now owned by the Red Bull Group, which makes the company part of a global network covering 160 countries.

Thomas Gigl: “First and foremost we are meteorologists. However, our data is so accurate that it is ideally suited for weather targeting in digital advertising.” Thomas Gigl, who until recently ran marketing for detergents at Henkel Austria, knows very well what he is talking about. When the spring cleaning season starts after winter, companies like Henkel can advertise window cleaners as soon as the sun is shining. “There is a peak season for window cleaning. With digital campaigns based on weather data, the target group can be addressed on sunny days with perfectly matching messages – namely cross-media online, out of home, on city lights and digiscreens.”


Real-time Accesses to the Most Important Weather Indicators

Whether refreshing soft drinks, outdoor clothing, medicine to prevent pollen allergies or the ski example mentioned above – weather targeting is an exciting topic for an incredible number of industries. Advertisers can choose the conditions under which their campaign will be presented. Even more exciting, however, is the possibility of adapting advertising materials based on weather data. If a bank is pushing a new credit offer and the advertisement contains sunshine and blue skies, then it shouldn’t be raining outside, and vice versa.

With over 200 weather information indicators available, we at adverserve have filtered out the most important data for advertising and have stored them in our ad servers – this includes weather condition, temperature, sunshine duration, health weather and mountain weather. This is where we break away from traditional campaign approaches. For example, where in classic media planning the garden season starts on a fixed date after Easter, advertisers can now use weather targeting to act flexibly in accordance with the forecasts. Getting started is super-easy: Establish ad server connection, define campaign rules – and go live! Every step of the process can be managed through a self-service portal. However, a managed service option is also available if advertisers prefer a turnkey solution.

This way, the budget doesn’t run dry and campaigns are only presented when the stored target parameters are met. For advertising brands, this means minimal scatter loss and maximum relevance – a goal that we are striving to reach with all programmatic campaigns anyways and one that we are even closer to reach with weather targeting.

Are you planning to start using weather targeting? Or do you already use weather data but are not satisfied with the results? Then write to us! As an independent consultant and full-service provider for ad technologies and digital advertising, adverserve would love to advise you.




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