Toyota Checks The Weather Before Serving Up Your Ad

July 20, 2010

We've all seen contextual ads before -- in fact, chances are good that you're looking at one right now. It's common practice to serve up ads based on keywords and location, which is why when you Google "cars", you get not only your search results, but also several ads related to cars, including one or two for dealers near you. This summer, however, Toyota is trying something a little different. In partnership with, Toyota is sponsoring an assortment of ads that match not only your location, but also the weather in your neck of the woods.

It's a pretty simply idea, really. When someone visits, the site not only pings their location, but it also takes a quick peek at the forecast for their area. The site then serves up one of several ads that Toyota has created to match those conditions. So, for example, if it's sunny outside, the ad might feature a family driving to the park. If it's snowing, the ad might show a Prius loaded up with ski gear and a couple on their way to the slopes. If it's hot, the ad might focus on the Prius' air-conditioning system, which can be powered by solar panels on the roof. And so on.

We're not sure if this is a huge win for Toyota. As a rule, we have very little faith in web ads -- display or otherwise. But this could be a good pairing for the Prius: according to, the site skews heavily toward eco-friendly types, which, of course, are exactly the sort of consumers that the Prius thrives on. There are plans to add a social element to the campaign, too, which could add some leverage depending on the form it takes.

If you see this campaign in progress -- particularly the social element -- drop us a line and let us know what you think.


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