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How Walkers turned rainy days to their advantage

How Walkers turned rainy days to their advantage

Walkers teamed up with OMD UK for their new interactive campaign. View the video below.


Brits always talk about the weather. Given that it’s usually rainy here these conversations are generally pretty negative. Walkers on the other hand, feel the opposite. They love it when it rains because it’s good for their potato crop, all of which is sown in the UK.

Their challenge was to communicate this in a fun and engaging way, highlighting the provenance of Walkers potatoes to drive sales and sign ups to the site.


‘Win a Tenner when it rains’ was born. This never seen before promotional mechanic gave consumers the opportunity to predict where and when it would rain in the UK to win £10 - turning the dislike of the rain into an amazing positive.

The mechanic was straightforward – purchase a bag of Walkers crisps, redeem a unique pack code and head to to make your prediction.

They partnered with the Met Office and discovered that they use grid analysis to collate UK rainfall data and predict changes in the weather. Using Google map technology Walkers replicated their methodology, creating a scale map of the UK divided into 21,271 4mm grids spots, which was integrated into the Walkers site. To make a prediction people simply had to select the grid spot on the map where they thought it would rain more than 1mm (the Met Office definition of rain) and specify the time of day in which they thought this would happen. To keep things fair Walkers limited it to one prediction per person per day.

Real time Met Office verification confirmed winning predictions on a daily basis, with successful players receiving a signed £10 cheque from Gary Lineker (Walkers brand ambassador) within the week. Alternatively, consumers could convert their pack codes into savings points for redemption against a range of weather-proof activities (e.g. DVDs, bowling, indoor attractions).  


Communications needed to go beyond simply making the promotion famous – they also needed to be as contextually relevant as possible. To that end it was imperative that Walkers did everything they could within media to piggy back consumer’s weather conversations.

Digital media allowed them to align to weather checking destinations. They sponsored the Met Office’s rainfall radar (a media first!), took up a tenancy on at launch and targeted placements to weather forecast pages across the MSN and Yahoo networks.

To re-enforce the weather connection further they used HTML page scraping technology across key weather sites to dynamically update banner advertising with live feeds from the Met Office. Similarly on Facebook they targeted copy to locations where high expected rainfall was predicted to provide a really relevant call to action to play.

Bidding on weather search terms on Google enabled Walkers to convert latent interest in the promotion into registration and predictions.

Digital activity was supported with heavy-weight TV and within both channels Walkers ensured a presence across the key points in the day when people were most likely to be talking about the weather - mornings and lunchtimes. They also strove to use highly impactful formats i.e. home page takeovers and longer second lengths to ensure that they really grabbed the UK public’s attention.

Finally, since even the best weather men don’t always get it right they planned in flexible media placements and easily substitutable time-lengths to allow Walkers to be as reactive as possible in the eventuality of UK wide flooding!


Staggeringly 800,000 predictions were made, with 128,000 lucky winners UK wide. The campaign delivered 422,000 registrations - up 50% on previous Walkers promotions Gary’s Great Trips. Their digital activity contributed to 25% of these total predictions and converted 63,000 registrations. The performance of weather sites affirmed the Walkers strategic intent to piggy back weather conversations with the Met Office & Weather placements delivering half of all predictions generated via digital advertising.

Perhaps more importantly Walkers Core value sales were up 1.5% period on period, year on year, which for a £500m brand is not insignificant.

Beyond these tangible results buzz generated across social media platforms suggested the promotion had really captured the mood of the nation, transcending society and taking people’s minds off the march towards winter. It even became a hot topic of debate amongst leading university academics in the UK!

The campaign won a bronze Media award at Cannes this year.

View the campaign video here.

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