Your bad hair day is good news for The Weather Channel.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Weather Channel Now Also Forecasts What You’ll Buy

Company’s Data Helps Fine-Tune When and Where Advertisers Should Place Spots

The Weather Channel knows the chance for rain in St. Louis on Friday, what the heat index could reach in Santa Fe on Saturday and how humid Baltimore may get on Sunday.

It also knows when you’re most likely to buy bug spray.

The enterprise is transforming from a cable network viewers flip to during hurricane season into an operation that forecasts consumer behavior by analyzing when, where and how often people check the weather.

The Journal reports that “[s]pecific data from the Weather Co. that pairs the exact location and climate a [person] is in allows for highly targeted advertising.”

Helpful graphic:



The Weather Channel is also crunching “data gleaned from mobile devices” along with other “granular data” to “weave into their analyses and algorithms not just location and weather, but timing as well.”

Is this the most egregious case of stealth marketing? Far from it. Compared to some of the other practices the Journal has chronicled, it’s downright rudimentary.

But just wait until The Weather Channel starts grabbing data from your cable box and crunching it with public records.

Then we’ll talk again.


John R. Carroll is media analyst for NPR's Here & Now and senior news analyst for WBUR in Boston. He also writes at Campaign Outsider and It's Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town.
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