Snow, Ice and Moral Panic

Snow can be a pain in the b** for most people as it disrupts the commute to work, makes walking conditions treturous and leaves us feeling a little bit too cold for words. However for a lot of brands selling ‘Winter purpose’ goods, it can be the best time to start shouting about products off the back of a trending conversations.

I have had a quick look at twitter tonight and just by entering #snow into the search bar, my twitter stream was flooded with constant updates. The screen shot below shows a sample of the conversations taking place.




The issue of snow becomes a hot topic for everyone as most people start to panic and discuss their action plan amongst others. One of the tweets here, indicates someone over buying ‘eggs’ from a supermarket in an attempt to survive if he/she hits lock down.

Google News

If you type this search term into Google news: Snow forecast and Snow disruption are the main headlines that appear. You can also see other conversations taking place which only encourages moral panic.


capture for google news

Whilst the snow falls, brands such as Hunter sit back and rub their hands together as wet weather means ‘higher sales of wellington boots’. It is a time for them to embrace the situation and send out targeted messages to consumers. The snapshot below shows some of the Facebook  activity taking place which  is purely tailored around the weather conditions.


Simple tweets such as ‘have you got your wellies at the ready?’ encourages people to think about purchasing. Trending topics are always a quick win solution for selling goods over a short period of time.

Energy companies also cash in on the drastic temperature drop as they send out messages such as ‘will you be warm at night’ and ‘is your family protected’. It is a great way to play with emotions and sell products that can ‘benefit’ the consumer.

Breakdown cover companies like the AA predict that the amount of breakdowns may double or even triple which again is a great way to enforce the benefits of their service. They know  it will be more powerful in a time of crisis.

Apart from having a good nosey on twitter and looking at trending news, this topic of conversation has made me think about PR and how important natural circumstances are.  Without our seasons, natural disasters (not prompting them) and the celebrity world, brands would struggle to come up with ideas that tap into human emotions.

Take a look at the interactive UK snow map created by software developer Ben Marsh who has combined data from Twitter and Google Maps.


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