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456121965-SYou get up in the morning, gearing up in your mind for a good run to start your day. But what do you put on: shorts or sweats? Do you need a sweatshirt, or would your technical top be a better option? And what about rain gear? To answer these questions, you need information about the weather, and because you’re a modern consumer, you likely pick up your phone to check your favorite weather prediction app. Like a lot of people, maybe you click on the Weather Channel’s app to find the temperature, rain chances, or humidity.

And that’s exactly why Nike has begun posting advertisements in the Weather Channel’s app and developing a simultaneous weather-oriented campaign for various advertising channels. Nike recognizes that consumers frequently face a key decision at the point at which they check the weather on their phones or mobile devices. This decision often revolves around what they should wear, and Nike wants to make sure that its brand is prominent and evident, prompting people to lean toward their Nike undershirt or gym shorts as they select their apparel.

Furthermore, the app is specific to the weather conditions the consumer sees. If an early morning jogger checks the weather and finds that it is cold and dark out, the embedded link to Nike’s site will take him or her directly to the page featuring a cold weather vest with reflective stripes, for example.

Around the same time it started inserting its advertising on the Weather Channel app, Nike also released a new advertising campaign, “Snow Day,” in which dozens of star athletes from various sports awaken to snowy conditions but head out, equipped in Nike gear, to enjoy a quick pick-up game. The idea is to remind consumers that even in terrible weather, exercising can be fun and safe, especially if they are wearing the cold weather gear that Nike sells.

The parallel campaigns reflect several insights Nike has gained. First, virtually everybody complains, thinks, and talks about the weather, so it can reach a broad audience by cooperating with the Weather Channel. Second, Nike recognizes the potential limitations imposed by new ad-blocking software for apps. By integrating its marketing communications within the app, it can sidestep those blockades and ensure that consumers see its advertising. Third, recent evidence indicates that people using apps engage more with the brands appearing within them than do consumers in most other channels. According to some reports, U.S. consumers spend approximately 60 percent of their time online interacting with mobile apps. Therefore, to drive its broader e-commerce strategy, Nike is looking to interact with potential users in the channels that they use the most.

Discussion Question:

Do you use a weather app? What advertisements do you see on it? Do those advertisements prompt you to visit the advertisers’ websites or interact with them further?

Source: Sydney Ember, “Nike Embraces Weather App in Campaign to Sell Gear Suited to Local Conditions,” The New York Times, October 29, 2015

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