The Weather Company And GSK Are Back To Track And Target Allergies

The team's updated Allergy Tracker is customized and promises to advance the predictive analytics associated with the WeatherFx platform.

Just in time for the intense levels of pollen in the northeast, this week brings the annual return of The Weather Company’s and GSK Consumer Healthcare’s Allergy Tracker digital tools to promote relief through Flonase.

The updated Allergy Tracker is part of GSK Consumer Healthcare’s and PHD Media Worldwide’s overall campaign to launch the new Flonase “Sensimist Nasal Spray.”

As part of the campaign, GSK Consumer Healthcare will rely on the IBM-owned Weather Company’s insights, predictive analysis, and data to entrench the differentiation of both the Flonase brand and the meteorological platform company’s capabilities.

The Allergy Tracker in action.

A Refresher

Aside from providing relief to allergy sufferers, the promise of this campaign, which is in its third consecutive year, is that “marketers can engage consumers at exactly the right time and place – both on and off Weather’s mobile and online properties,” a rep for the company said.

“At The Weather Company, we are passionate about using data to deliver high-impact, individualized experiences for people to help in their daily planning and decision making,” said Jeremy Steinberg, global head of sales, The Weather Company. “The refreshed Allergy Tracker, created in collaboration with GSK Consumer Healthcare and PHD Media Worldwide, will empower consumers to help them better understand and manage their symptoms this allergy season.”

The Weather Company’s effort is also related to last fall’s Cold & Flu Tracker, which GSK Consumer Healthcare used to launch a campaign introducing its Theraflu ExpressMax Caplets.

That program Areas used heat maps to highlight where incidences of cold and flu were occurring. The ads were featured on The Weather Channel and Theraflu online properties, mobile sites/apps, and social media feeds.

“By collaborating with Weather, we are able to tap into their scale and get the Allergy Tracker, as well as the Flonase Sensimist Allergy Relief campaign in front of nearly a quarter billion consumers across the Weather properties,” said Theresa Agnew, GSK Consumer Healthcare’s CMO.

“And, we are also able to further extend that reach by taking Weather’s innovative data targeting solutions beyond their properties, and applying that precise targeting to our entire campaign,” Agnew added.

First Time For First Party

In addition to using WeatherFX to manage the location- and behavioral ad targeting, the campaign also presents the first time the company is taking advantage of its first-party audience segments.

“This is the first time that we have built a first-party audience segment based on user behavior on, and extended that to a DSP for a client to use in targeting across channels,” a Weather rep told us. “It’s valuable for a client like Flonase because we are able to identify users who are engaging with allergy information and associated editorial content on, and utilize that data to help Flonase reach those consumers on properties beyond”

The campaign also should benefit from the alliance struck last week between The Weather Company and Acxiom’s audience data engine Live Ramp.

Mark Risis, VP of Partnerships at The Weather Company, explained how Live Ramp augments its WeatherFX targeting program.

“Marketers have been successfully using our WeatherFx targeting capability on The Weather Company’s properties for years, but they’ve always wanted to be able to utilize those data segments across their omnichannel campaigns,”Risis told GeoMarketing last week. “Through LiveRamp, they will be able to do just that. By collaborating with LiveRamp to expand access to this unique targeting data, we are able to rapidly scale the reach of our platform and help marketers better personalize their campaigns.”

Sneeze-Activated Watson Ads

The Allergy Tracker is also being aligned with the voice-activated Watson Ads that The Weather Company has rolled out over the past few months.

A Weather Company rep told GeoMarketing that “there is definitely a possibility of leveraging voice activation in an ad unit to ask a question like ““What is the forecast for allergy levels in my area?”

In the meantime, in a Watson demo, consumer are offered to ask the artificial intelligence platform to help them find the “right allergy path.” Consumers are promoted to ask “How do you use Flonase” and “what if my nose stings.”

The idea of getting a direct answer to queries, as opposed to list of popular responses. holds major implications regarding the nature of voice-activated search. For one thing, can Watson predict what consumers are going to seek out next. Time will tell.

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.