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How’s the Weather Out There? Customization Gets Climate Sensitive

Recommendations have become a regular part of how young consumers shop, find entertainment, and more. In fact, when we asked 14-32-year-olds if they ever act on or use the “recommendations” that websites/applications make for them, 61% of them say they have. Getting suggestions on what to buy and watch has become a norm, and young consumers are growing up with the idea that every choice they make can be personalized to their tastes.

But what if these customized experiences depended not just on what consumers had done in the past, but what was happening in their worlds right now? We’re beginning to see it happen. It seems that everything in the world is getting more custom, and more reactive to real-world conditions. We’re seeing apps and marketing that take location and weather into account, and integrate real-time climate into the suggestions being made. It makes sense—it’s well known that weather significantly affects our moods, so why wouldn’t it affect what we want to do, see, eat, or, of course, wear? Here are three recent examples of climate sensitive tech that is making customization even more personal:

1. Yummly

Yummly is an app that gives users recipe recommendations in a visual stream based on their pre-loaded preferences. Any foods they don’t like, or are allergic to, are kept out of searches, so only relevant meals are surfaced. But now the app is taking the personalized experience even further. The latest update is taking “contextual information” like location, time of day, season, and the weather into consideration when making suggestions. On a rainy afternoon in May, a user will get a completely different set of recipes delivered to them than they would on a sunny morning in October. These new considerations make Yummly’s service even more fine-tuned and helpful, creating a service that looks at the environment of the user to give them more perfect food ideas.  

2. Netflix Reactive GIFs

GIF-powered marketing is on the rise, and Netflix is taking it to the next level. Their new digital outdoor campaign in France is comprised entirely of GIF posters that will change depending on things like the weather and news events. A team will be creating custom GIFs from the shows and movies available on Netflix, which will then be broadcasted on the posters with an accompanying message that fits into the current headlines or climate. For example, if a team wins a big game, the GIF shown would be of a character celebrating, with a message about the victory and what the passerby should watch on the site to celebrate. If it’s pouring rain, viewers might see a GIF of a film character trapped in a storm. These posters take the idea of personal recommendations and make it a large-scale event. The suggestions are being made to a whole city based on their communal experiences. But beyond that, it’s simply captivating marketing. 

3. Cloth

A closet that tells us what to wear everyday might still be a dream, but Cloth brings it a little bit closer to reality. The app helps users to manage their wardrobes, “making it easy to save, categorize, and share your favorite outfits” by storing pictures of your outfits. When users take a picture of themselves in a look, they can then tag it with a category and optimal weather conditions and add it to their “digital wardrobe” then each day, Cloth will pull up outfit recommendations based on the weather conditions and previous outfits. On top of that, Cloth has added a “street style search” that allows users to browse other users’ public photos by location, occasion, and weather, so they can be inspired by others’ ideas of what to wear to say, a snowy winter wedding.