The wave of intensely cold weather that hit most of the country this week and turned Chicago into “Chiberia” posed some challenges and opportunities for marketers.
Airlines like Jet Blue were forced to close their gates in New York and Boston, most people stayed inside instead of going to a store, and even advertising agencies themselves faced problems — there was a “poo eruption” scare after some pipes burst in the offices of Chicago agency Leo Burnett (the agency later claimed the dirty water was poo-free).
But as some companies suffered, others took advantage the best they could.
Stores such Wal-Mart, which put up large space heater displays in its Midwestern locations, were able to benefit from a subscription to the weather forecaster Planalytics. The service helped companies plan two weeks ahead before the “polar vortex” hit.
Online food delivery services Seamless and GrubHub faced a huge influx of orders, while many empty restaurants were left raising their heating bills, reports AdAge.
Retailers that were able to take cold-weather wear out of the clearance racks were in the best position for success, Consumer Edge Research analyst Stacie Rabinowitz told AdAge. She mentioned T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s as two brands who adapt best to adapting prices to the weather.
And some brands couldn’t resist taking advantage of the #PolarVortex trending topic on Twitter:
AMC Theatres used it to promote the animated movie “Frozen”:
— AMC Theatres (@AMCTheatres) January 7, 2014
Corona recommended you stock up on their beer before the extreme weather hit:
And though Wendy’s skipped the hashtag, it plugged into the trend of people uploading weather app screenshots of absurdly low temperatures:
Smaller retailers jumped in, too, and took advantage of getting sponsored tweets into Twitter feeds. Here’s one from college textbook retailer Chegg:
The good news is that the Arctic air that has been passing through the United States is about to dissipate, and milder temperatures will return by the end of the week.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.