Weather.com has started a news channel devoted to the hurricane season, allowing advertisers to target storm watchers and coastal residents.
The company has sold rotating ads that appear on the right-hand column at www.weather.com/newscenter/tropical/. Allstate Insurance Co. is advertising its insurance plans, for example, while GenCode Systems Inc. is advertising hurricane tracking software that can be downloaded for a $24.95 yearlong subscription.
Viewers can see live map images of the hurricanes along with wind mph statistics and direction of the storm. Weather.com thinks the channel will prove an effective ad venue because storm watchers spend lengthy amounts of time on the Web.
“It's an effective marketing tool because companies like Allstate, for instance, can place an ad next to a contextually relevant environment,” said Paul Iaffaldano, spokesman for the Weather Channel, a subsidiary of Landmark Communications, Norfolk, VA.