The Fox Weather app was the top free app downloaded in the week of launch, ahead of brand giants like TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook. How’d they do it? A combination of old-school advertising and brand loyalty.
The list of the top free apps downloaded so far in 2021 are all household names — TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook, according to App Annie.
But for a couple of days, the Fox Weather App supplanted these brand giants as the most downloaded app in the U.S. That’s quite the feat when you consider that the weather forecasts for anywhere in the country are readily available on TV, radio, in print, everywhere.
And when it comes to weather apps, people have plenty of choices, local and national.
So how did the Fox Weather app get more than a million downloads in the first week after it launched on Oct. 25?
It started with some old-school advertising to reach beachgoers in New York and New Jersey over the Labor Day weekend when a flying banner announced Better Weather Ahead with the launch date of Fox Weather, followed by a billboard greeting drivers’ entering a midtown tunnel in Manhattan.
“We did them in New York to get the media attention,” says Michael Tammero, Fox’s SVP of marketing. “You don’t have to spend a lot to drive the awareness.”
Ultimately, the marketing that led to the successful launch of the Fox Weather app came down to brand loyalty.
“We had the power of the Fox News media platforms,” Tammero says.
Pre-launch promos began airing on Labor Day very heavily on Fox News Channel touting the innovation of the Fox Weather app, Tammero says.
Another Fox platform used to promote the app was the Fox Sports broadcast of NFL games and the World Series.
“We have received tremendous support from our colleagues across Fox Sports and entertainment,” Tammero says.
In addition, there was some in-your-face guerilla marketing.
“We did do a small buy on the Weather Channel here in the New York market, just to sort of say hi,” Tammero says.
Fox Weather has invested more than $10 million in the new digital service, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Fox Weather has hired more than 100 people to help launch the platform, which includes 40 dedicated meteorologists. Reporting also comes from the 28 Fox O&Os in 17 markets and from the more than 75 other Fox affiliates across the country.
Fox Weather talent includes Amy Freeze, Marissa Torres, Nick Kosir, Kiyana Lewis and Ian Oliver, among many others.
“It’s everything weather,” Freeze says. “It’s weather around the clock, at your fingertips.”
Tammero credits Suzanne Scott, Fox News’ CEO, for the creation of Fox Weather.
“She has really pushed us to innovate and grow our brands since taking over as Fox News Media head in 2018,” Tammero says.
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