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Westin Hotels & Resorts bolsters mobile bookings via TWC iPad sponsorship

Via the mobile sponsorship, consumers can browse different Westin Hotels locations and reserve a room. Earlier this year, the company ran geotargeted ads within TWC’s iPhone app that also let consumers book a room.

“The beauty of the tablet is that the consumers using it want to really interact with it – they want to be engaged by content and spend time there,” said Cameron Clayton, executive vice president of digital product for The Weather Channel, Atlanta.

“So, the opportunity for advertisers is to really tell a story and reel in the consumer, start a conversation with them,” he said. “The Weather Channel consumer is already in the planning mindset as they check their forecast.

“So, for example, the goal with Westin was to leverage that interest and inspire travel.”

Mobile booking
The Westin rich media campaign lets consumers “Wipe Away Your Weather.”

The campaign targets consumers based on location and current weather conditions.

For example, consumers in a snowy location will see their screen fill up with snow and can then “wipe away” that snow to reveal a warmer, tropical Westin resort destination where they can interact with the property, learn about other destinations and share the experience via Facebook, Twitter and email.

Consumers can also browse the resorts and book them via their device.

The campaign, created with creative agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, digital agency Razorfish and Celtra, will run on multiple TWC platforms.

“The Wipe Away Your Weather campaign helps consumers escape to a completely different environment, if only for a few minutes on their tablet,” Mr. Clayton said. “That’s storytelling, and it’s organic to both the advertiser and the app.

“That’s the opportunity at its best,” he said.

Mobile enhancements
The redesigned app includes new features such as weather-triggered background images on the home screen that change to match local conditions.

There are also 3D animated backgrounds available on iPad 2 devices.

The app also features a weather forecast screen that displays current conditions, a 10-day forecast and expandable hourly forecasts in 15-minute increments.

Consumers can also browse a news mash-up of the latest weather articles and watch HD videos of top news, weather forecasts and original TV clips.

“The Weather Channel’s first iPad app launched with the iPad itself,” Mr. Clayton said. “We essentially had three weeks to create it, with no user testing or feedback – kind of working in a vacuum.

“This entirely new version incorporates 18 months of consumer feedback,” he said. “We know now how they want to use their tablets, what they want them to do and the amount of interactivity they seek from a tablet app – with pinching, swiping, zooming and more.

“So we’ve made sure to really up the interactivity and engagement opportunities, and make the most of it as a visual medium. It’s all designed to tell a better weather story.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York