Summertime and the Advertising is Easy

Spring is in full bloom! Finally the days of heavy coats and freezing rain are over. The weather has finally warmed up and summer is clearly on the horizon. Despite these changes in weather, have you noticed any other changes? What about advertising? It is no secret how brands transform their advertising campaigns depending on the season. But how can they become even more advanced in this approach? The answer is location-based mobile advertisements.

According to, more and more companies are using location-based mobile ads to target consumers in real time based on the weather. In fact, Twitter and The Weather Chanel have agreed to a partnership for a weather-based ad-targeting product, which use promotional tweets based on current weather. For example, Taco Bell is using this new ad app to run mobile ads through May only when the temperature exceeds 48 degrees. This way, Taco Bell only has to pay for mobile advertisements when the weather matches their summer campaigns, calling for consumers to buy some food and head outside.


Other brands, such as Ace Hardware have seen great success using this weather-based advertising technique. This is an extremely smart tactic, using mobile advertising, because they can catch their consumers in real-time through a medium that will always be with them. As you have read earlier this week, we are in an age of digital technology, and almost everyone has a smart phone these days. Consumers will see these ads whenever they use an application on their phone, and the advertisements are even more specially targeted to their audience by focusing on location.

Mobile advertising is a technique that is taking advantage of our fast, intuitive minds. As Daniel Kahneman suggests in Thinking Fast and Slow, the human mind has two systems at work.  System 1 uses fast thinking and makes spur of the moment decisions. When a consumer has a very targeted advertisement show up on their phone, it may spark a quick decision. Think of this: weather is warm, you’re hungry, and bam!…Taco Bell pops up on your phone showing a variety of tasty, summery foods to satisfy your appetite and quench your summer-mood. Next thing you know, you are in the drive through of Taco Bell with your windows down. These advertisements appeal to the impulsive nature of system 1.

Paul Gelb, head of strategy for the “MoPub’s” mobile ad network, says it best: “We are just beginning to see the potential of these opportunities because we are now able to reach people in ways that we couldn’t before.” The behavioral insights that location data gives advertisers allows them to successfully deliver mobile audiences based on actual consumer activity. In fact, being able to directly target mobile devices of possible customers, while they are on-the-go, represents the future of mobile marketing. It is safe to say, that the advertising world is at a tipping point in consumer usage of the mobile medium.

Julia Tompkins & Sasha De Vecchi

6 thoughts on “Summertime and the Advertising is Easy

  1. I must say that I have rather mixed feelings about this advertising strategy. Part of me is seriously impressed at the sheer genius in discovering this as a way to reach the consumer. If we think about the number of people that own smart phones or tablet devices, we can pretty much say almost everyone is being reached. Those weather apps that display location are an admittedly, excellent way of deciding what ads to display to a specific individual. On the other hand, could this be a violation of my privacy? It’s almost like the debate over the ethicality of cookies. How ethical is it to share consumer data? Every time I check and refresh my weather app, I will now imagine some faceless corporate god searching for me with a magnifying glass. Maybe this is just another case of transparency, or lack thereof. Now that I know what’s going on, maybe I’ll be okay with participating in mobile advertising. Or is ignorance bliss? Either way, I’m sure this advertising method will be effective on me rain or shine. Whether it’s a movie theater ad for half-off popcorn on a rainy day or taco bell for a pina colada freeze on a sunny day, I’ll be wherever appeals to my system 1 with absolutely no shame.

  2. It is true. I have noticed my fair share of advertising changing to appeal and condition for the summer season especially with us being in a very close proximity to the beach. The idea of advertising directly to someone’s mobile device is great in the idea that it is effective because it reaches a company’s targeted consumer, but is the way they are getting the information ethical. I do not think it is okay to invade into an individual’s privacy in order to make a sale(s). If someone chooses to give you their demographic information it is totally acceptable, but I don’t believe individuals should be unaware that a company is gaining their information involuntarily.

  3. This is so true and I never really noticed it before now. I always just saw it as coincidence when there were more food advertisements during warmer whether. This is incredibly affective though. I know for me, when it is hot outside and I see an advertisement, say from Taco Bell, for one of their frozen drinks, I am definitely more likely to go through the drive through and get one. I am for sure a consumer that acts on impulse behavior. I think this is a smart strategy for businesses. They are figuring out humans impulsive behaviors and appealing to those for means of business.

  4. While this strategy of mobile advertising is effective, it is extremely unnerving how they are getting their information. It is not okay for someone to hack into our privacy or somebody else privacy just so they can gain the upper hand in what to advertise. People should be able to give up this information voluntarily. That being said though, advertising to the seasons is a great idea. It really hones in on peoples impulses, and as we all know, we are people who act on impulse.

  5. If I were apart of an advertising corporation, I would partake in this. As times changes, the platforms are too. I think companies are being forced to come into our private lives these days. After all, what is private in our lives now? I’m not saying corporations are making our private public, but proposing the idea that maybe we as consumers are. Almost all of us have SMART phones. I’m beginning to see SMART doesn’t just mean our devices can do cool tricks, but they are truly smart as they no longer limit what we can do. We can easily make our private public, and we are. It’s genius and necessary that companies come into our personal lives, without that, they wouldn’t have one.

  6. This is so true but until I read this I never noticed much especially the food advertisements. For me I always notice that right after christmas all of the malls change their clothing to cute spring clothing when it’s still capable of snowing outside. This is a good advertising strategy because it makes me buy things and hope for more warmer whether. This is an impulsive behavior and helps businesses.

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