What do you do when you’re forced to make small talk with complete strangers? Chatting about the weather or the time of day is a popular choice. There’s a reason for that: experience of the outside world is up there with death and taxes when it comes to universal appeal. Everyone can relate to the subject on some level.
Ads that react to the time and climate are powerful for this reason. The British Retail Consortium has described weather as second only to the economy as an influencer of consumer behavior. Brands selling everything from hair products to ice tea have found success with smart ad campaigns that change what they display based on whether it’s a dark and stormy night, a hot and sunny day, and so on.
Convincing a consumer to buy a cold drink on a hot day is one thing. But what about piquing their interest to make the biggest purchasing decision of their lives? Homes By Avi, a home builder based in Alberta, was able to generate almost $2.5 million in revenue from leads created by ads that shifted their targeting based on the time of day and the weather.
“$2.5 million in revenue from leads created by ads that shifted their targeting based on the time of day and the weather.”
The developer wanted to sell homes in Edmonton. It knew from previous experience that it’s easier to sell a new home to someone who is renting than to sell to someone who already owns a home, because the renter doesn’t need to sell their current property. With that in mind, Visio analyzed the hundreds of elevator displays it controls in the market and identified 11 luxury rental towers across Edmonton that contained people who were likely to have the means to buy a new home.
Homes By Avi’s creative team then developed display ads linked to different weather conditions and times of day.
Visio’s proprietary display network choose which ad to show based on the time of day and, in some cases, the weather. Sensors in each screen also “read” the faces of elevator occupants, allowing the client to closely track the reach of the campaign. At the end of the campaign, Visio was able to give a true impression report to Homes By Avi based on how many people looked at their ads.
“At the end of the campaign, Visio was able to give a true impression report to Homes By Avi based on how many people looked at their ads.”
We’ll go over how our system works in greater detail in a later post. For now we’ll just mention that each screen in Visio’s network can track 132 points on the human face and, from there, make an educated guess about whether an elevator occupant is looking at the ad. The system can also detect a person’s gender and make a rough estimate of their age. It’s accurate and completely anonymous. No one, including our clients and our developers, can see anything about a specific person.
In this case, our system detected that Homes By Avi’s campaign was extremely effective and the ads were slightly more popular with men than women, though women looked at the ads longer.
Adults also spent slightly longer than young adults looking at each ad on average. The average adult view engaged with an ad for 73.6 percent of an ad’s 10-second display time, while the average young adult view lasted 73.4 percent of the time.
These figures are all above Visio’s average engagement rate of 71 percent.
These figures are all above Visio’s average engagement rate of 71 percent. We’re still developing our data library and refining our insights on why some campaigns do better than others, but Nicolette Leonardis, Visio’s vice president and co-founder, suspects that the client’s highly targeted approach played a role. It’s a well-known axiom in advertising that targeted ads are much more efficient than “spray and pray” tactics like billboards.
Homes By Avi was also able to capture a complete ROI picture for the campaign. This was achieved through a “New Home Owner’s Package” that company mails to a customer once a sale is finalized. With the address of the customer and insights from Visio’s display system combined, the true impact of the advertising investment could be measured
After a 12 month campaign and a $30,000 ad buy, the client sold six homes to customers living in the rental units targeted by the campaign. The average price of the homes sold was $605,000. Total revenue generated from the campaign: $2.5 million.
Which just goes to show that talking about the weather can be anything but boring.