Web Ads on Cells to Change with Weather

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Weather Channel Interactive Inc. will announce a new mobile marketing technology it’s dubbing “weather-trigging” that will allow for enhanced target marketing based on person’s local weather searches.

An official announcement will be made at the CTIA Wireless industry show this week in Orlando.

Louis Gump, vice president for the Weather Channel’s mobile division, revealed a possible sponsor to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, stating, “Coca-Cola could advertise a hot beverage when it is cold outside and could advertise a new Coke Zero when it’s hot outside.”

Using every U.S. ZIP code, town and city, the technology will organize all information and provide data and advertising specific to what location a user enters. A feature that’s already popular in Asia, location-based marketing is now ready to infiltrate the United States.

Still, advertising on phones has not been fully embraced by advertisers due to the fear of losing customers.

Charles Golvin, principal analyst with Forrester Research states, “You have to tell the Weather Channel where you are; otherwise you can’t get relevant weather information.” Differentiating the Weather Channel from traditional mobile advertising, Golvin said the company was “very good at leveraging that infrastructure for selling advertising.”

1999 was the year that the Weather Channel kicked off its mobile business venture. Today, 4,800 video clips are specifically available to mobile users, with a heavy concentration being business travelers. The service is set to begin within several months, according to Gump.

“If you’re sitting in Chicago in a snowstorm and you’re checking your forecast, maybe you’ll see an ad for Aruba or Jamaica, and even the copy will say something like: ‘It’s 15 below and snowing there, it’s 85 and sunny here,” he said.

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