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Case study: How pollen targeting increases the efficiency of programmatic campaigns

by meteonomiqs
Case study: How pollen targeting increases the efficiency of programmatic campaigns

Weather and pollen season

Weather concerns all of us and we want to be as prepared as possible. For many consumers, pollen count also plays an important role here, which in turn is heavily dependent on weather and climate.

Over 60 million people in Europe are affected by hay fever, and 15 percent of Germans suffer from hay fever according to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). This is a large target group that the pharmaceutical company Sanofi wanted to reach specifically when it launched its pollen medication “Allegra” in Germany in 2023’s pollen season by using METEONOMIQS pollen data.

Hay fever season is not just in spring

Climate change is having a major impact on the pollen count calendar, and allergy and hay fever sufferers are affected more and longer than they did a few years ago. Climate change has increased the intensity of the pollen count and extended the pollen season. The season now lasts from January to October, and with the appropriate weatherconditions, pollen can still be found even in December. Mild winters mean that vegetation generally gets going earlier and allergenic plant species continue to spread. Therefore there is usually no real respite for those who are affected.

The 2023 season has once again clearly demonstrated that the period and intensity of the pollen count are highly dependent on the weather. This is because temperature alone is not the only decisive factor for the pollen count. The timeframe when specific plants bloom is also dependent on other factors, e.g. changeable weather with lots of rain usually leads to a noticeable reduction in pollen count.

Multi-channel advertising to match the pollen count ​

Spring in Germany in 2023 was one thing above all – wet. Due to the prolonged wet and, in parts, cold weather, the pollen season got off to a very delayed start, with pollen counts only rising rapidly to peak levels towards the end and extending far into the much too mild fall months. For providers of hay fever medication, such weather conditions raise the question of how they can still manage and play out their advertising campaigns smartly in order to optimize relevance. One option here is to play out multi-channel advertising using combined programmatic campaigns to match the pollen count.

Programmatic Out-Of-Home & CTV campaign using pollen indices

To promote the allergy tablets “Allegra”, Sanofi ran a combined digital out-of-home (DOOH) and connected TV (CTV) campaign in over 200 cities in Germany from March to June 2023.

The advantage of a combined DOOH campaign is that advertising space is purchased efficiently and ads are placed according to the situation and based on data. This results in cost-optimized one-to-many communication that enables equally precise targeting options on all channels – desktop, mobile and CTV.

A programmatic specialist, such as Omnicom Media Group OMG, is required for the operational implementation of the campaign. The latter uses Active Agent’s DSP for DOOH campaigns.

For the campaign, our pollen targeting was provided by the data specialist adsquare and controlled the playout according to the pollen count. Our pollen index ensured that the “Allegra” campaign could be smartly controlled despite the delayed pollen season by only playing it in the zip code areas in which the total pollen count, or the count of individual pollen types, exceeded a certain value.

« The pollen season is highly dependent on the weather, as 2023 proved once again with its very wet spring. Nevertheless, the use of local pollen indices enabled our client Sanofi to both increase the relevance of the ads and target them precisely. This enabled us to significantly optimize targeting within the target group. The innovative approach convinced us and we are planning to offer the pollen index in the coming season as well.»​

(David Luchtenberg, GM Germany, adsquare GmbH)​

Those who are aware of the correlation between consumer behavior and weather can significantly increase their chances of reaching potential customers in the right situational context. Postcode-accurate pollen targeting using combined programmatic campaigns enables companies like Sanofi to communicate with a wide reach while optimizing costs.

We offer both raw pollen data and pollen indices that you can integrate into your campaigns as a targeting segment. Further information on the parameters of our pollen forecast can be found here.

You can also download a short summary of the case study here.


About wetter.com GmbH – a ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE company

With up to 22 million users per month, wetter.com is one of the market leaders among online weather portals in Europe. Our employees at three locations work with passion and fun on our products. Experienced meteorologists and editors provide daily information on current weather conditions and trend forecasts. A precise precipitation radar, thematic weather maps, bioweather, HD live webcams, and detailed news and blog articles complete our broad portfolio via website and app. In addition, we present wetter.com TV, the only 24-hour weather channel on German television, and produce the weather shows for the ProSiebenSat.1 Group. With our B2B brand METEONOMIQS, we use our global weather expertise to drive companies forward through data-driven marketing, weather-optimized sales planning and other data solutions.

About Sanofi 

The Sanofi Group is a global healthcare company. With almost 8,000 employees, the company researches diseases and corresponding treatment methods and develops medicines. One of these is the anti-allergy drug “Allegra”, which is designed to specifically combat the typical symptoms of hay fever.

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