Everyone talks about the weather. “Nice day, today.” “Hot enough for ya?” “Looks like rain.”
Everyone has a computer. One of every two people has a smartphone. And if you believe the “data,” at least one of every four people has a tablet of some sort.
So how to explain that almost none of them take advantage of the world’s second-greatest invention of the past 20 years? (The best invention is seedless watermelon, but we digress.)
Why do people leave the house without an umbrella 30 minutes before a major downpour hits? Why do they leave the office at the height of a storm, when waiting ten minutes would have kept them dry as a bone? Why do they wonder “If I go jogging in the park right now, will I be struck by lightning?”?
And why, we ask respectfully, were ten people struck by lightning, one of them killed, at Pocono Raceway August 5th during a beyond-obvious dangerous weather situation?
Just one click away from all the random bullsh&t on The Weather Channel is a link for “Weather In Motion,” the great invention referred to earlier. Beautiful technology that allows the average Joe to view weather radar over the past two hours in ten-minute increments, as current as five minutes ago.
You can see the green “clouds” (= rain) coming your way. You can view yellow blotches (= heavy-ass rain) on the march. And you can freak out watching the red spots (= lightning) bearing down on you.
Perhaps The Weather Channel doesn’t promote this unbelievably valuable tool because viewers would then have no need to tune in Jim Cantore getting tossed about. But from a mobile Internet point of view, we suggest The Weather Channel is leaving big money on the table.
Remember “The Year Of Mobile”? The idea that mobile advertising spending would soon eclipse that of TV? We have, of course, mocked that notion in several prior posts, going all the way back to 2008 (by our count, we are now in the 6th iteration of “The Year Of Mobile”). Still and all, eMarketer projections say the U.S. is nearing $3 billion in mobile advertising spend. Nothing to sneeze at.
So, then, here is The Weather Channel’s opportunity. Take a look at its mobile app. Note that the “Weather In Motion” tool is once again buried. To get to it, click on “Map.” After it slowly boots up, click on the arrow button.
There you go – your mobile “Weather In Motion." The Weather Channel’s, and perhaps the world’s, best kept secret. No more guessing wrong about taking that umbrella or not. No more deadly "surprise" lightning strikes.
The first step to seizing the billion-dollar advertising opportunity, then: market the sh&t out of this “button” to let tens of millions of potential users know where it is, how to get to it, and how valuable it is. (And, while we’re at it, improve the functionality so that the prior two hours of radar history moves much more slowly than it does now.)
The second step is to sell exclusive advertising on this space. Currently, The Weather Channel rotates the same retard ads you find on its main website – refinancing, dating, and “flat stomach” banners. It should instead work with Apple’s iAd geniuses to truly and finally develop “engaging” mobile ads from real (i.e., Fortune 50) advertisers.