Asda’s new weather-responsive advertising campaign offers a solution to coping with the unpredictable British weather, writes Caroline Parry.
With spring sales off to the same stuttering start as the weather and last year’s washout summer still very fresh in retailers’ minds, Asda’s weather-responsive digital banners campaign for its George line is a savvy move.
Using the umbrella theme “wear your summer”, Asda has created two sets of creative for its banner ads. One features summer essentials for when the temperature rises, and one offers long sleeves and waterproofs for days when it rains. The digital work, a first for the supermarket chain, will be supported by TV, print and outdoor campaigns.
It is a simple idea that could potentially weather-proof George if the UK faces another catastrophically bad summer but, at the same time, it doesn’t discount the remote possibility that it might actually be quite nice. It shows that Asda is willing to be flexible and has taken the necessary step of bringing in trans-seasonal stock. Lessons hard learnt over recent seasons.
While few fashion retailers have Asda’s advertising budget or clout, any that have failed to draw similar lessons about the need to be reactive to the weather as it happens, as well as planning ahead with a good mix of transitional product as well as seasonal highlights, will face yet another disappointing season.
Weather-dependent advertising may not be within everyone’s reach but keeping the lines of communication open with consumers won’t cost a fortune. It could be as simple as changing window displays to highlight warmer knitwear or, conversely, shorts and dresses. It could be tailored promotions and events, or a social media campaign.
The only predictable thing about the British weather is that it is unpredictable. Any fashion retailer that has not prepared for this year is leaving themselves exposed to the elements.