The Weather Company (TWC), formerly The Weather Channel Companies, released a redesigned version of The Weather Channel app for Android on Monday. Toyota, the app's exclusive launch partner, is featuring a new ad unit with branded background within the app.
"The app offers a bigger palette for creatives to use to tell their stories but still be contextual and not completely interruptive," says Cameron Clayton, president of TWC Digital Group.
The ad unit combines the correct creative assets from an advertiser with real-time information about weather conditions and time of day at an individual's location. For example, if it's a rainy day, Toyota will show a rainy scene and a car that fits with those conditions. The Toyota ad partnership also includes co-branded media on The Weather Channel network and weather.com.
The redesigned app displays an immediate view of weather conditions with exact timing of when rain will begin and end, and offers a simple user interface, easier-to-find forecasts, improved map features, richer video offerings, and easier location management, the company said. The video can include clickable pre-roll video ads.
The Weather Company app also showcases the company's TruPoint technology, which provides more accurate, real-time weather information, Clayton says. "We've been making tens of millions of dollars' worth of investment in the technology to derive a material increase in accuracy in order to make minute by minute predictions," he says. "There's a huge improvement in the science in this app that's also reflected in the website and tablet versions."
The app was released first on the Android platform because that's by far the biggest source of traffic, providing approximately 17 million active unique users each month, according to Clayton. An iOS version will be released in approximately 45 days.
The Weather Channel will promote the new app with a :30 TV spot to air beginning on February 25. The commercial was created by Iris Worldwide, one of many shops TWC uses. It will run across TWC properties, including the Android app, online, tablet, and on cable. Social outreach will include Facebook posts and a Google Hangout for users.
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Susan Kuchinskas has covered interactive advertising since its invention. The former staff writer for Adweek, Business 2.0, and M-Business covers technology, business and culture from Berkeley, CA.
March 19, 2014