That’s what Hurricane Sandy is doing for Weather.com. As panicked coastal residents up and down the Eastern seaboard are wondering what mother nature is going to bring them, they’re going online. And Weather.com is a big beneficiary.
AdClarity, the advertising analytics tool, studied Weather.com for the past three days. It’s clear that big storms mean big traffic … and big ad numbers.
Weather.com is already the biggest and heaviest trafficked weather site in the U.S., an AdClarity spokesperson told me. But in the last week, its already-high traffic has jumped 20 percent.
And just yesterday? Almost 30 percent:
That’s big news for the advertisers on the site, says AdClarity, who are now accessing even larger swaths of the population. Top advertisers include NationWide, with the insurance giant taking 11.5 percent of the available adspace, Travelers, and Advil.
AdClarity’s snapshot shows how marketers are reacting almost instantly to changing circumstances.
Travelers’ ads, for instance, highlight Hurricane Sandy by delivering almost a public service message: what your emergency kit should contain, how to prepare your home for a disaster, and so on.
Instant tailoring of ads and quick buying to jump on an opportunity shows the possibilities in real-time advertising, in which marketers adjust campaigns on the fly to fit news, trends, and even, in this case, weather.
The challenge in jumping all over advertising opportunities when a disaster is looming, of course, is avoiding the inevitable ambulance chaser comparisons.