As Brands Seek Safe Media Environments, The Weather Channel TV Network Delivers Immersive Opportunities

By Weather Channel InSites Archives
Cover image for  article: As Brands Seek Safe Media Environments, The Weather Channel TV Network Delivers Immersive Opportunities

As consumer media usage habits are increasingly multi-platform with increased growth of SVOD, AVOD, and live streaming, the linear networks face challenges. While many linear networks are primarily focused on the expansion to digital platforms, The Weather Channel television network is uniquely positioned due to their equity as one of the most trusted media brands, to capture these audiences.

The Weather Channel is pursuing an aggressive strategy to deliver a new lifestyle brand position, content and messaging that is relevant to consumers every day, highlighting weather as an experience and not just covering severe storms. Investing in tools, technology and improving the user experience, this transformational change draws upon the trusted heritage of the brand and new streaming and social platforms Local Now and Pattrn, to reach new consumers in this rapidly changing media landscape.

Fred Bucher (pictured at top), the new senior vice president and chief marketing officer at The Weather Channel, Local Now and Pattrn, who joined the company last August, reports he "has been blown away" by The Weather Channel's adaptability and productivity during this record storm season. Inspired by the culture and openness led by Entertainment Studios' Byron Allen and TWC president Tom O'Brien, Bucher has focused on "reasserting our identity that maybe people have forgotten about. Our opportunity as an immersive linear network is to really connect with people in a deeper way. The weather drives so much of our lives and decisions."

Recognizing this, Bucher launched two new TWC consumer campaigns in January. "Get Into the Out There" promotes the networks live coverage by "turning the camera around to tell stories about how much the weather influences our lives every day." The second campaign, "It's Always Story Season" is designed to promote The Weather Channel Entertainment, the network's award winning line up of original programming. "Our messaging and positioning communicates how we are doing a lot of things better to drive better results for consumers and advertisers."

Accelerating their growth as a lifestyle brand and weather as an experience, the network is premiering original Mud Mountain Haulers programming on March 7 and Frozen Gold later in the year. Returning series Heavy Rescue and Could You Survive with Creek Stewart, engage die hard weather enthusiasts and attract new audiences that enjoy nature and human challenge content.

Local Now, which is completing the rollout of its new user interface and a wide array of new content partners, is a free streaming service that focuses on custom content for more than 230 cities, delivering news, weather, traffic plus entertainment, parenting tools, food, pop culture and more. Local Now is available on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Sling, Dish, Verizon as well as smart devices. "We give people access to an unbeatable combination of great local news, weather and award winning entertainment content, customized to your neighborhood with a technology to make that more user friendly and personal," says Bucher. "Local Now will become an essential part of advertisers' brand-safe content mix."

Bucher says, "The changes in our environment are driving a lot of our day-to-day weather patterns. And regardless of how you feel about these facts, they need to be explored. Science and storytelling done in a way that is not biased takes us to Pattrn, whose "mission is to explore, inform, engage and revel in the patterns of our amazing planet." Bucher reports that Pattrn was launched as what he refers to "as a social side hustle" and is now a fully integrated 360 content platform must-follow for all science and weather lovers. The stories they tell "center around the most captivating weather and science phenomena around the world (and beyond) and invoke fascination, curiosity, and inspiration. It's all the stories science lovers could ever care about, all told through a unique weather lens." Bucher describes both Pattrn and Pattern as hopeful storytelling.

Says Bucher, "There are very few brands in the traditional media landscape that have the resonance that The Weather Channel owns at the top of the brand safe media pyramid. Equity and health measures are critical to our success and while they are both intangible, they provide tangible results for our advertisers and distribution partners. We are focused on constantly improving our value by introducing new audiences, using new platforms with tools and technology that bring high quality content and open access in a brand safe and trusted environment."

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