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Volvo, Weather Channel forecast deluge of hits from iPad app

Volvo is teaming up with The Weather Channel to promote its XC60 crossover and reach consumers with its first iPad-application use of branded creative that appears in the background of content on the channel's iPad app. 

The Swedish automaker and the cable and satellite TV weather-forecast and news channel worked with agencies Grey Advertising (creative) and Mindshare (media) on the campaign. Taking the Branded Backgrounds TWC has used previously in its mobile app, it features full-screen images of the XC60 displayed under translucent weather content, with the images changing to match weather conditions in the user?s location. The campaign reflects how mobile is helping automakers personalize their advertising pitches in a crowded marketplace.

?On mobile, you can customize dynamic creative to deliver a relevant message in real time to the user, which can change at any moment to reflect their local conditions,? said Linda Gangeri, manager, digital and CRM brand, product and communications, Volvo Cars of North America. 

?Mobile reaches users at different times throughout their day,? she said. ?IPad is more of a lean-back mindset, used as a second screen during primetime hours. For the automotive category, this is particularly beneficial as users can research vehicles while watching TV.?

Watching the weather
Interacting with the Volvo ad takes users directly to the brand?s site.

The campaign is built on an awareness of the consumer?s habit of using mobile to check the weather to make plans, and using a car to carry out those plans.

?This campaign helps the user visualize that the XC60 Crossover performs beautifully in any weather condition,? said Randi Stipes, vice president, client solutions with The Weather Company, owner of The Weather Channel. ?Life doesn't stop when you get in your Volvo, and certainly, no matter the weather.?

The larger iPad screen lets marketers seamlessly integrate their brand into the weather story in a way that is locally relevant since the creative adapts to users' weather conditions, she said. 

The newly relaunched Weather Channel app for iPad is designed to offer more intuitive navigation as well as easier access to forecasts, radar maps and other features.

Ad placements throughout the app are also more standardized to let marketers leverage existing creative assets, increasing page/screen consumption, time spent and video views, Ms. Stipes said.

Mobile campaigns
The Weather Channel has frequently used mobile in the past to promote time or weather sensitive products.
Subway once ran a campaign on a Weather Channel app that only took place in the morning from 5 to 11 a.m to advertise its breakfast menu items. Another campaign saw Wendy?s berry frosty products served only served when it was more than 75 degrees out.

The Weather Channel's relaunched iPad app.

The iPad app relaunch further confirms Weather Channel?s high regard for the device in terms of its ability to help it connect with customers.

During the 2012 Olympics, the Weather Channel partnered with Burberry for a campaign which saw the brand supply all the advertising on TWC iPad apps worldwide. The iPad app displayed local London weather conditions alongside images of relevant products, such as sunglasses and umbrellas, which were updated dynamically based on changing weather conditions and temperatures.

The iPad-supported app fits with Volvo?s target buyer?s avid mobile usage habits, particularly during the car-buying process.  

?Given our audience uses multiple devices throughout the day to get their weather, it was only natural to extend our flagship native solution to iPad, allowing marketers to connect with consumers throughout the day no matter how they are getting their weather,? Ms. Stipes said. 

?We're thrilled to have a great, trusted brand like Volvo be the first to run on iPad.?
Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter with Mobile Marketer, New York.