Will bad weather ruin brands' summer marketing plans? The Marketing Society Forum

Smoothie maker Innocent has scrapped an event to promote its London 2012 sponsorship.

NO - CHRIS LEWIS, MARKETING CONSULTANT AND FORMER MARKETING DIRECTOR, WELLS & YOUNG'S

I think it was Groucho Marx who said: 'I'm leaving because the weather is too good. I hate London when it's not raining.'

And that's the point. The weather is always terrible in Britain and it's the one thing, aside from death and taxes, that we have all come to expect - especially in the summer.

So any marketer reliant on good weather as a prerequisite for a successful summer marketing programme most probably takes a risk just that one step too far.

My advice is to be bold. Plan and activate your campaign with precision and passion, and the weather ... well, it is a mere inconvenience.

YES - JANE ASSCHER, MANAGING PARTNER AND CHAIRMAN, 23RED

It will hinder weather-dependent brands such as ice cream and lager, but help those that provide a refuge from the storm, such as cinemas.

However, for the majority, it will be business as usual, except that much bigger disruptions to their marketing plans could result from the euro crisis. Moreover, those with a strong London business face an uncertain period with the influx of visitors and stay-at-home commuters.

The result is likely to be an over-reliance on discounts, which undermine brand image and profitability. Whatever the weather, brands must operate under an umbrella of ethical, functional and emotional values.

MAYBE - CHARLIE THOMPSON, CLIENT SERVICE DIRECTOR, ABBOTT MEAD VICKERS BBDO

You would have thought that by now we would have learned it will rain when we don't want it to and shine when the kids are back in school.

What many have learned is that there's no such thing as a safe bet, and tying activity to 'possible' weather is not necessarily the smartest move.

Hedging is becoming more prevalent, and sadly that just means less variety in brand activity and the removal of the seasons as a creative hook. Raining on 2012 activity will certainly mean risk-aversion for 2013 planning. And, of course, next summer will be beautiful. So let's look forward to 2014 - the year when we all have another go.

NO - SIMON WALLIS, SALES AND MARKETING DIRECTOR, DOMINO'S PIZZA

Some brands actually relish the dismal weather. What better reason is there to stay at home and order in a pizza when it's pouring down outside? Recent swings in weather conditions and retail sales have highlighted the impact of weather on spending, but an economics study found that while the weather can have an effect, in general this evens out over time. Come rain or shine, your marketing activity needs to be relevant - never blame the weather.


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