Digital Marketing Innovation Inspiration


State Farm X Weather Channel: An Integrated Branding Partnership

September 20, 2019 Sarah Cavill

During natural disasters, The Weather Channel (TWC) is firing on all cylinders and Hurricane Dorian was no exception. The incorporation of immersive mixed reality (IMR) has become the network’s go to when a big storm is on the way. During Dorian, State Farm partnered with TWC for a native advertising campaign that featured State Farm in an IMR segment on storm preparedness. This IMR integration was the first time TWC has used a brand partner overtly in an IMR segment, although their partnership with State Farm goes back many years.

IMR Technology Is Frequently Used By The Weather Channel

IMR technology is becoming increasingly common on The Weather Channel, with the channel expecting to use IMR in 80% of its programming by 2020. The technology uses advanced graphic renderings and visual effects to recreate storm effects and take viewers inside the storm. As viewers become more digitally savvy, they expect more from their programming, and IMR is one way to appeal to audience desires. The Weather Channel press release said, “TWC is pioneering new methods of broadcast presentation for real-time storytelling.”

How Did The Weather Channel IMR Segment Incorporate State Farm

TWC previously partnered with a Southeastern Conference (SEC) Network analyst during an IMR segment on how throwing a football is impacted by bad weather, and the two networks shared logo space during the bit, but the recent method of integrating State Farm into an IMR segment was a first for the network. A State Farm tote bag is recommended during the storm preparedness segment for storing important documents, like insurance papers, and the State Farm logo pops up throughout the segment as well.

The mix of technology and advertising is a natural fit to reach audiences comfortable with immersive branding and digital activations. Similar to product placement, the edges are becoming blurred when it comes to branding in editorial or creative contexts, with viewers becoming more accustomed to integrated branding, creating opportunities for brands to reach audiences in a mix of markets.  

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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