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Netflix, Royal Caribbean cozy up to snowbound on mobile

As residents of the New York and Boston regions enjoyed a snow day yesterday thanks to winter storm Juno, marketers fit themselves into the conversation on social media by offering solutions involving their products or services for the long day spent inside.

These engagements show that brands are in tune with real-time events and are straying away from generic, unrelated marketing efforts. With marketers providing timely solutions, consumers are likely to be appreciative.

“In the past, social media has played a huge role in managing natural disasters,” said Esha Shah, manager of mobile strategy at Fetch, San Francisco. “So, the mobile channel can definitely be a highly dependable way to reach people.

“According to Adweek, 76 percent of Americans affected by natural disasters contacted their friends to make sure they were safe, 37 percent used information on social media to buy supplies, and ‘during disasters social networks often replace 911 as the go-to source for help,’” she said.

Tuning in
Winter storm Juno was less devastating that expected in most areas except for Boston. Therefore, marketers had to be nimble and adjust their marketing messages. Instead of sending messages about how to dig out from three feet of snow, the messaging focused more on how to make the most of the time spent at home.

Royal Caribbean’s Promoted Tweet read, “Hibernating today? Tag us in your #Blizzardof2015 selfie and we’ll add some Caribbean sun to your snow day.”

The cruise line brand took snow selfies and turned them into beach-themed images. The effort is an effective way to remind cold consumers of warm weather and vacation plans.

Also, Netflix’s Promoted Tweet used hashtags to highlight new content, including old episodes of Friends, Peaky Blinders, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy and more.

The tweet also referenced the storm with the hashtag #Blizzardof2015.

Netflix has also just acquired Sony film The Interview, which is likely to be a target that is highly sought after due to the worldly drama surrounding it.

Similar to before the storm, brands posted images of their products on their Instagram accounts.

Online lifestyle publisher The Cut posted nail polish and other items, and the caption read, “Snow days demand a little self-care.”

Free People posted an image of donuts and said, “A snow day equals the perfect excuse for donuts.”

Paige Denim posted a collage of snow day photos featuring its products and said, “Snow days in layers and dark denim. #Juno.”

Rue La La posted an interactive map of the U.S. northeast and used emojis to tell a story. The post said, “#Juno exactly what we’re talking about. #Snowmageddon2015 #Blizzardof2015.”

Social importance
As the East Coast prepared for winter storm Juno, transportation, fashion and banking companies such as Uber, H&M and Refinery 29 took to mobile to reach customers with relevant offers for merchandise they might need during the inclement weather.

Through promotions, mobile apps and native social content, these brands aimed to not skip a beat in sales, while keeping in mind the potential of the storm. Increasingly, the mobile channel is allowing brands and marketers to continue their efforts even when local governments shut down cities, while some can even come to the rescue thanks to mobile (see story).

Mobile efforts have come a long way since Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast in 2012.

During the storm, consumers relied on mobile apps and sites from services such as The Weather Channel and AccuWeather, as well as mobile news sites including The New York Times and CNN for the most up-to-date information (see story).

More than two years later, marketers of all sectors can be involved via mobile.

“With social media already proving a widely used form of communication during disastrous times, marketers surely can join the conversation,” Ms. Shah said. “Brands that carry emergency items can insert themselves into the disaster preparedness conversation to indirectly promote their supplies, perhaps offering promotion codes for discounts, and in turn they can use these codes to track their effectiveness.”

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York