How The Weather Company’s Forecasts Will Lead Audiences To Disney’s Moana

The Weather Company is unveiling a new animated branded background advertising solution for The Weather Channel app, which provides marketers with a unique way to tell their brand story through the lens of weather.

Disney’s latest animated feature Moana hits movie theaters on Thanksgiving Day and it’s about to get a geotargeted promotional boost from its frequent marketing partner The Weather Company.

The ads, which are rolling out on Friday, Nov. 18, are represented by full-screen animated branded backgrounds that appear on the current forecast screen in the mobile app of the IBM-owned Weather Company’s separately held media sibling, The Weather Channel.

Walt Disney Animated Studios is the first brand to use the new animated images.

The background scenes are based on the current weather conditions at the user’s location, the branded backgrounds will change to mimic the local elements, whether it is cloudy, sunny, rainy or wintry, and the animations will subtly bring life to the weather conditions depicted.

Full-screen animated visuals showcase the lead characters, “Moana, Maui and friends” behind the app’s “forecast screen.” The weather content itself will be translucent. The ads will also let app users purchase tickets for the film at local theaters in 3D at

The Moana promotion harkens back to a Weather Channel campaign for The Penguins of Madagascar in 2014. But as Jeremy Steinberg, global head of sales at The Weather Company, notes, this currect effort represents a significant advancement.

The Penguins of Madagascar campaign in 2014 leveraged our popular static branded backgrounds, while Disney’s Moana is taking advantage of the next evolution of that ad format with the new addition of animation,” Steinberg tells GeoMarketing. “The addition of video motion to one of our key native ad formats is especially important for marketers who are looking to tell their brand stories with sight, sound, and motion.”

The Weather Company has been focused strictly on analytics and marketing since being split off from multimedia publishing business of The Weather Company when it was acquired by IBM in October 2015. Asked what The Weather Company has learned about the use of branded images over the past two years, Steinberg puts the new understanding in the context of other changes in online-to-offline marketing.

“As the digital advertising ecosystem continues to transform, it was a natural next step to also evolve our popular static branded backgrounds,” Steinberg adds. “The Penguins campaign is from two years ago and there have been a number of other marketers who have leveraged our static branded backgrounds since then.”

The Disney animated branded backgrounds for The Weather Channel app are available in the NY, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Philly, LA, DC, Houston, Orlando, Detroit, Tampa, Boston, Cleveland, Miami, Nashville, Charlotte, SF, Baltimore, Raleigh and St. Louis markets.

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David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.