Cool idea: ‘Baywatch’ billboards that react to weather
Digital signs are placed in the 16 coldest U.S. markets
January 26, 2017
Bitter cold can prevent their cars from starting. Snow or sleet can ruin their shoes and the bottoms of their pants. And don’t get them started on school snow days.
Playing on those cold weather frustrations the key to a cute new out of home campaign that plays on the desire for warmer temperatures. It actually uses the weather to trigger the ads in more than a dozen cold-weather markets.
The digital billboard campaign through Lamar Advertising is for the upcoming movie “Baywatch,” based on the TV series about genetically blessed lifeguards.
The ads each show a photo of the movie’s cast, including Dwayne Johnson, Priyanka Chopra and Zac Efron. But each ad’s copy varies, based on the current weather in each market.
What’s being promoted
Paramount Pictures’ upcoming “Baywatch” movie.
Why this stunt
Paramount Pictures reached out to Lamar after seeing another campaign where digital ads were switched out based on environmental triggers.
The digital billboard campaign launched this past Monday. It runs through Feb. 5.
How it works
Once the idea for the campaign was in place, the next step was deciding which markets to run the ads in.
“Rather than just playing in the typical top 10 DMAs, we took it a step further and chose the 16 coldest markets in the U.S.,” says Ian Dallimore, director of digital strategy and innovation for Lamar Advertising. “This allows for the creative relevant messaging to really speak to the audience in a unique way when they’re longing for warm weather.”
The markets are Flint, Michigan; St. Cloud, Minnesota; Syracuse and Albany, New York; Des Moines, Dubuque and Waterloo, Iowa; Rockford and Moline, Illinois; Sioux Falls and Rapid City, South Dakota; Casper, Wyoming; Lincoln, Nebraska; Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wisconsin; and Worcester, Massachusetts.
The ads are coded and programmed to pull local weather data from NOAA.gov, the website of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Each internet-connected digital board reads that feed to determine which creative will run based on the current weather.
For example, if the conditions are below zero or icy, the ad reads, “Frost bites. Summer is coming.” If snowy weather is in the forecast the board reads, “Snow sucks. Summer is coming.”
The ads are updated automatically based on the most current weather data available. Once the ad is coded and programmed, no other human interaction is necessary.
Why it works
The digital boards work because they show how a simple tweak in creative copy can keep them relevant and interesting. It gives the ad an interactive feel, and advertisers love that.
On the way to the work in the morning, it might be bitterly cold and icy, making the “Frost bites” version of the ad particularly relatable. On the way home during a dusting of snow, the “Snow sucks” ad makes more sense.
How it was received
The campaign just rolled out this week but has already been picked up by a number of advertising blogs and publications. It was also picked up by the website of The Post-Standard in Syracuse, New York.
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