The majority of the UK has yet to bear the brunt of the cold weather and snowfall this winter, while some regions have been dealt one inch too many. Low temperatures and icy conditions can, however, spark ideas for clever out-of-home activations.
There will be those who lament the lack of originality of incorporating temperature into ads, especially when you consider the number of billboards out there that use real-time data to display how cold it really is outside. The reality is that this is only the tip of the iceberg with what can be done.
Here are some recent outdoor ads from around the world that have successfully harnessed cold temperatures, to deliver creative and inspiring messages.
The ad to the right ran last year in Montreal for the shampoo brand, Selsun Blue. The ad included two creatives, one featuring the face of a woman, the other a man.
The creative twist took onlookers by surprise, with snowfall accumulating above the male and female’s hairlines, in what could be perceived as a serious case of dandruff.
Nokia took advantage of the cold snap by using street-level signage to promote its new Lumia device. The key message for the campaign was to promote the phone’s touch screen, which can be used with gloves covering the fingers.
The ad was made with heat-sensitive material that changed when it got colder. As the temperature dropped, more letters appeared on the sign, turning “Make Love” into “Make Calls with Gloves On”.
Norwegian Air Shuttle used temperature readings on bus shelter ads to encourage people to get out of the cold weather, by using the company’s transportation methods.
The creative would display the current temperature, teasing onlookers into jetting off to somewhere a little less frosty.
In Australia, cold and flu medicine maker Dimetapp used digital screens in coffee houses and other retail locations, illustrating an image of a box of Dimetapp medicine, along with a money-back guarantee.
The screens were programmed to trigger ads that only ran when the temperature fell below the region’s monthly minimum average, effectively targeting consumers at a time when they were most likely to need the product.
Winter in Sweden can be long, dark and cold, so Coca-Cola rewarded people who used its vending machine with a slice of warm summer day.
When onlookers engaged with the vending machine, a video would begin playing on the back wall of the shelter, depicting summery themes. A heating coil system was also installed in the bus shelter’s ceiling, providing spectators with a well-needed flurry of warm air. Click here to see this activation in motion.