260% higher CTR in Display campaigns through the use of WeatherAds

How do you match a Display ad with what the potential visitor is looking for? That was the question of the Dolphinarium in the summer of 2019. Since the weather is not always nice in the Netherlands, the reason for going to the Dolphinarium can differ from day to day.

With a sun and 28 degrees for example, it is wonderful to slide down the slides in Waterpret (outdoor water playground). With 23 degrees and rain you prefer to be dry during one of the performances.

More about Dolphinarium Harderwijk

The Dolphinarium is the largest marine mammal park in Europe. Nowhere else in the Netherlands are you able to see so many marine mammals together. In various shows you will meet dolphins, walruses, sea lions and more. In addition, there are 4 playgrounds and the dazzling new water attraction Water Fun.

The challenge

In the past we adjusted the Display ads manually. That means: in bad weather we use different ads than in good weather. However, this is extremely time consuming and far from accurate. You will be amazed at how the weather can vary per province, let alone per time. We would like a solution to allow the active Display advertisements to match the weather conditions of the next 24 hours, without having to do anything yourself when the weather changes. Because: nothing is as changeable as the weather. 😉

The purpose of Weather Ads

We assume 2 improvements. The first is based on time and especially the savings on this. The second is based on quality. There is a challenge here. People don’t like to go out for a day with bad weather. This means that the conversion is lower in any case, no matter how well the ads match the weather scenario. That is why we choose to focus on the total CTR and not on conversion. The target here is an increase of at least 25% in CTR compared to the previous year in the acquisition campaigns within the Google Display Network.

The strategy

The target group remains completely the same, the only thing we adjust is the ad or ads that are active during a specific scenario. For this we use our Weather Ads partner. They make it possible to automate campaigns based on the weather.

Together with the Dolphinarium we came up with 4 scenarios. These are therefore based on the weather, but especially also on the USPs that apply per scenario. We came up with the following 4:

  • 25+ degrees
  • 20-25 degrees and sun or dry
  • 20-25 degrees and rain
  • 25- degrees and rain

To come back to the intro, it is already possible to create 2 scenarios. “With a sun and 28 degrees, for example, it is wonderful to slide down the slides in Water Fun”. That is clear scenario 1. “With 23 degrees and rain you prefer to be dry during one of the performances”. That is scenario 3. This way you can decide for yourself what goes with scenarios 2 and 4.

Now that the scenarios are in place, it is important to collect the correct communication and images. In scenarios 3 and 4 we wanted to focus on “come to the Dolphinarium, even in bad weather”. The visual material is focused on the performances and indoor activities. Scenarios 1 focuses on Water Fun and Scenario 2 mainly on other outdoor activities.

Now we can live and let the weather and tool do its job!-

Results and evaluation

Awesome! A CTR increase of no less than 260% compared to the year before. In total, the ads were shown almost 3.5 million times and there were more than 18.5 thousand clicks. In addition, we can assume that the people who did not click have seen a better message. You will not see this spin-off in the result.

A higher CTR is nice, but of course we had another goal. Using the automation has worked well. You set up the campaigns once based on scenarios and then you don’t have to do anything anymore. So now and then you update the ads, of course, but you don’t have to turn anything on and off. So more time for more useful work!

Since using WeatherAds for the Dolphinarium:

  • 260% higher CTR on the Google Display Network
  • 100% time savings after setting up the scenarios

This means that there have been more potential ticket buyers on the website within the same budget.

“Through the efforts of Weatherads, we know that we can respond quickly and correctly to the needs of the target group with the uncertainty of the changing weather conditions. This is not only an improvement of the campaign result, but also an improvement for the image of our brand. ”

Cathelijne Benckhuijsen – Manager Marketing & Sales at Dolphinarium Harderwijk

Goal of the campaign