NewFronts 2013: The Weather Company
The Weather Company unveiled six new web series — three previously announced during Weather’s Upfront, three announced for the first time yesterday — all of which will be produced under the Weather Films banner. Each show will consist of six, 2-4 minute episodes, with all six being made available at the same time.
Brink: Already announced. Launching in July, this show will document efforts to save endangered species.
Destination Uncharted: Already announced. A travel series exploring the “most stunning natural places on Earth.”
Grid Breakers: Already announced. Launching in September, this show follows explorers who have endured some of the world’s harshest weather conditions.
I Am Unstoppable: New. Launching in October, this show will follow six outdoor athletes who have overcome extraordinary obstacles to achieve their goals, including Sarah Reinertsen (who attended the event), the first full-leg amputee to complete the Ironman competition.
Virus Hunters: New. Launching in November, this show will document the work of scientists working hard to prevent deadly diseases from spreading. Virus Hunters will focus on the technological practices such as advanced data mining
Alive: New. Launching in December, the show spotlights Americans who survived manmade and natural disasters. Scientists will also be featured, explaining what happened during catastrophic events like tornadoes, hurricanes, shipwrecks, or a flight nearly crashing.
Marketing, Promotions, and Distribution
Home Depot has signed on as the first marketer to take advantage of The Weather Channel’s content and marketing partnership with Twitter. The Home Depot’s “Project of the Week” campaign will be featured in promoted tweets by The Weather Channel, with embedded video that will vary by location, weather, and seasonal conditions.
The Weather Company also touted a recent deal with Disney for Oz: The Great and Powerful. For the James Franco-starring fantasy film, The Weather Company uploaded high-quality backgrounds on its mobile apps. These backgrounds were also weather-triggered, changing depending on what the weather was like outside. Mike Finnerty said the campaign was one of the top drivers of ticketing sales for the film’s opening weekend.
“Since January, we have achieved 100 percent delivery on all of our content driven ad campaigns,” said Neil Katz, VP & Editor-in-Chief/Digital.
The Weather Company is planning to distribute the aforementioned six new short-form series across its online, mobile, and TV properties (on TV it will air as short segments). This sort of distribution is not likely to be available from any of the other NewFront presenters, according to the company. “We are pushing video everywhere,” said Mike Finnerty, VP/Product for Weather.com.
The Weather Company’s cross-platform capabilities were a huge element of its NewFront presentation. The company honed in on the “3 X 100″ slogan, by which it meant it has the capacity to reach 100 million TV viewers, 100 million uniques online, and 100 million app users.Curt Hecht, Chief Global Revenue Officer for The Weather Company told me that this gives the company the ability to “beat” both digital and cable companies. His only complaint about his job, Hecht added, is that people tend to blame him when the weather’s bad.
Neil Katz said The Weather Company reached 29 million unique visitors during Hurricane Sandy, generating 14 million video starts and 3 million live streams. What’s more, after a slight dip following the super-storm, the audience came back, and is consuming more content month over month, he said. Which was a good way to segue into previewing the aforementioned web series.