Monday, February 20, 2006

Doppler 2 Million
The weather is, by far, the least sexiest part of the news. (unless, of course, you are watching 60 minutes- then it’s the part with Andy Rooney.)

That’s because the weather report contains the same information on every channel, in every city, every night- all around the world.

Is it going to rain in Cairo? What’s the temperature going to be in Albany? It’s the same information- every time.

So how do you get people to watch YOUR weather report?

The answer, of course, is numbers. Large, made-up, impressive sounding numbers.

Branding things with big, meaningless numbers is a tried-and-true method for marketing all kinds of products including Cars (the Ford 500’s horsepower is only 203), fireworks (the m-80 contains only 50 mg of powder) and even guns (the m-16’s caliber is only 5.56mm).

Why should local weather forecasts be an exception?

In New York City, the local TV marketing gurus have jumped on to the number wagon. The local CBS affiliate’s weather radar is now branded:
Doppler 2 Million (even though it only has only 1 million watts of power).

Like all casual weather report viewers, my first reaction was: “Shit, man- that’s A LOT of Dopplers.”

Here in Central Ohio, they are still trying to catch up. The best we have is 10TV (CBS) – with something called Doppler 10 (again- they only 9000 watts of power).

The other stations must not have received the Doppler memo. NBC’s lamely named “First Doppler” is still much better than ABC’s super-generic “AccuWeather” forecast.

Trends, as they say, seem to start on the coasts and work their way inward.

If that is true, then it shouldn’t be too long before Ohio’s weather forecasts are Doppler-Branded in the Millions as well.


Blogger dirtgirl said...

well, the CBS affiliate in NYC is found on Channel 2 on the dial, so that might have something to do with their exaggeration.

I fully expect Channel 10 to upgrade to Doppler Ten Thousand before too long. "Ten" just isn't that many dopplers.

10:58 AM  

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