It seems like it’s been a long, long time since I’ve seen cooler temperatures. I almost welcome 90-degree weather now with the mercury pushing 100 for what seems like eternity but is more like four or five days. With these ridiculous temperatures sweeping most of the country, I start thinking about advertising and marketing and whether most companies adjust their messages according to the weather.
Obviously, the bigger brands have more money and can adjust their messages and branding according to the seasons. One good example would be Coke. In the summer, Coke is cold and refreshing. It’s sometimes shown being poured over a glass of ice. But in the winter, the Coke is usually in a classic glass bottle in a winter scene with most recently polar bears. It’s like a winter wonderland, but the feeling of ice cold is not portrayed in the Winter advertisements. They also show the iconic red can a lot, which brings a feeling of comfort and warmth to the viewer.
The airlines industry also does pretty well to adjust their messages and branding according to the seasons and weather. In the Summer, they still show some Caribbean destinations, but they also focus more on the popular destinations that don’t have beaches or oceans. It seems like Europe is a popular destination that is pushed by the airlines in the warmer months. But in the Winter, it’s mostly sunny beach destinations in Florida, Mexico, and the Caribbean that are pushed by the airlines with an occasional snow ski destination thrown in.
So while all the big companies adjust their branding and message with the air temperatures and seasons, should every business include the weather in their advertising briefs along with the typical demographics and other important factors? I would say in extreme cases of heat or cold, that it could be beneficial to consider adjusting your message to the extreme temperatures. For instance, with the extreme heat blanketing much of the nation right now, I would expect to see more pool stores advertising. As people seek relief from the heat, a cold, refreshing pool would be a very tempting buy right now. The other day on the radio I heard a commercial for a hot-tub company, which is the last thing people would probably buy in this hot weather. But if a hot-tub company sold people on the idea of turning the heat off their hot tubs and perhaps even dumping ice in the now-cold tub, it could be a refreshing escape after a long day at work. Now all of a sudden something that looked unappealing and close to torture in this weather is a refreshing and cold tub with massaging jets.
I think another important thing to consider is the color palette that is used in your branding and messaging depending on the air temperatures. In this extreme heat, you want to avoid using darker colors like red and brown and use cooler colors like blue and pastels. So if you are selling furniture, choose the lighter colored materials. You may not be able to control the colors of your products, but you can still adjust the colors of the background, the scene, and the type colors. If you don’t do much advertising and marketing, then you may want to choose more neutral colors that work well in the hot weather and the cold weather. I do think, though, that with this extreme heat that is blanketing much of us, adjusting your message and branding according to the temps could help many businesses as people are seeking relief in one way or another.
Aaron Whitaker is a copywriter, blogger, and social media aficionado who likes watching the TV commercials more than the actual shows. He prefers reading the magazine ads over the articles. And you can learn more about him online right here.