Weather Eye brings McD’s right to your desktop

Agency head: Lorraine Hughes, president

Number of employees: 163 in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver

Notable clients: Apple Canada, Campbell Soup Company, Federal Express, Frito Lay Canada, McDonald’s, PepsiCo

New business wins: Parmalat, AOL Canada, Pier 1 Imports, Wrigley AOR, Jagermeister, Royal Ontario Museum, Callaway Golf, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (MEDT)

Major losses: Saputo, Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation

The goal

Weather or not to visit McDonald’s? OMD certainly hoped the answer would be yes, by creatively tying the chain’s menu to the day’s temperatures in an effort to encourage visits to the restaurant.

The strategy

OMD decided to leverage Canadians’ weather obsession with the Weather Eye, a desktop tool now on 350,000 Canadian computers, that offers weather info, distributed through the Weather Network’s Web site. You download it and then periodically a small window appears on your screen. You can click on it to go to the Weather Net site or, if ignored, it melts away after a few seconds. OMD brokered a sponsorship deal that ties in the McDonald’s menu item that best goes with the particular weather item that appears.

The execution

During four key ‘dining’ parts of the day – breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night – messages were timed to pop up: So on a summer’s day, with the temperature above 30 degrees, a message about McDonald’s soft-serve ice cream would show up on a viewer’s computer screen. OMD contends that this treatment created a new media space when McDonald’s capitalized on it in late spring. The Weather Eye hadn’t been sponsored previously.

The results

Usage has increased 20% since the campaign went live – and shows no signs of cooling down.