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How does heat impact the airwaves?

“Unprecedented” heatwaves give the British public something to soften the blow of the Euros hangover (and something other than COVID to talk about). That said the extreme weather conditions are a bit more of a headache for advertisers running on TV.

Here’s a few thoughts on why a sunny summer could be problematic for TV advertisers, and some ideas on how to overcome this.

TV ratings

The first point is due to the availability (or lack thereof) of TV impacts when the weather heats up- people spending time outdoors into the early evening as opposed to watching TV. This was very apparent in the past week, with the below chart showing the impact of the heatwave (which started Sat 17th)- with a 23% decrease in impacts WoW for Sat-Tues.

This is a very extreme example- and it must be said that generally, the summer is typically a reasonable month to deliver airtime, but these extreme weather incidents are one to be aware of. The direct impact is that TV broadcasters then have less impacts available to distribute amongst buying advertisers, and campaigns may under-deliver in that period.

Take a look: Christmas is coming early for shoppers with 27% of adults planning their Xmas shopping in September and October.

Response rate

Unless you are selling paddling pools or barbeques, it’s could also be that extremely hot weather will result in a reduced response rate, as evidenced in the below chart. This shows (on an anonymised client’s results) the impact that very hot weather has on the advertiser’s response rate.

Important to note, however, that the “hot” weather does impact RR%- but it is the extreme heat which has caused the most significant drop off- so summer months shouldn’t just be avoided, as can still yield ROI.

Read more Food & Drink trends here: 28% of all men and women state that they often purchase sustainably sourced products, and 8% say that they only purchase sustainably sourced goods.

All Response Media viewpoint

The campaign delivery and RR% shifts resulting from warmer weather can potentially be very impactful for advertisers in the performance marketing space, as this will likely have a direct impact on sales, and even cash flow. Whilst TV buyers can use their negotiation and buying power to ensure campaigns are delivered in month- TV schedules close 1.5 days before transmission, making it challenging to optimise if the weather changes suddenly.

Here’s some tips on how to mitigate the impact of severe weather:

  • Understanding how weather impacts your campaign
    • Not all campaigns will follow the same trends- and in some instances hot weather could be a positive. Using our proprietary media measurement tool, RAPs, we can dig into many different granular variables which can impact on performance, weather being just one of them, which can help us understand what works for each client and sector, and optimise accordingly.
  • Understanding what elements of the campaign do work best in severe weather instances
    • RAPs also give us the ability to work out what elements of the plan work well in certain weather conditions- it could be a creative, or a daypart, for instance. It’s important to understand what these are, to optimise towards them.
  • Track the weather- and plan ahead!
    • As shown in the case study above, it is often extreme instances of hot weather (not just a slightly warm day!) which really impact on performance. Therefore, looking ahead at forecasts for extreme weather conditions mean that clients and media buyers should be able to exert a certain degree of control and optimise accordingly.
  • Have an optimisation strategy
    • If you know response rates will decline in certain temperatures, it may be viable to move value out of that period into a later day/week/month which would deliver a better return on investment.
  • Consider media mix weights:
    • If it is a crucial month for your campaign where volume of impacts/impressions are key, it may be worth supplementing the TV campaign with other media. Press and radio impacts are less volatile in extreme weather conditions and can be dialled up with much shorter lead times, so could be worth considering.

All Response Media, we make it our mission to quickly get under the skin of the key performance levers of client’s campaigns- whether these are factors we can control- such as station or programming, or those which we cannot, such as share of voice or weather conditions. Understanding all the granular factors impacting on performance allows us to position our clients in the best possible position for campaigns to succeed. So, although we may not be able to predict the weather (entirely, anyway), we can forecast, adapt, and optimise for such eventualities.

For more information on the TV services we offer, click here.

Contact us now to learn how we can maximise your media planning and buying effectiveness.