How Climate Counts for Camping Campaigns

Lorna Rose Gill Posted by Lorna Rose Gill

yellow tent at night lit up from lights within it

Lots of activities rely on the weather for being enjoyable, but perhaps none so much as camping. Spending a night in the great outdoors with only a tent to protect you from the elements always makes for a bracing holiday, but even hardcore enthusiasts might be put off by torrential rain and sub-zero temperatures. Of course, in the UK, the weather is never predictable, which must have an impact on the camping market, and how and when brands can successfully sell camping equipment. We’ve looked before at the UK market for swimwear and how factors such as bouts of good weather can have an impact on the PPC strategy of brands – now we are going to see if the same holds true for the classic camping trip.

For example, you might think that camping would be most popular during the summer months when the weather is generally hotter, but you only have to look at the last few weeks of grey skies to see that August doesn’t always promise sunshine. The same was true in 2014, when August offered comfortable temperatures, but 97.6mm of rainfall – a veritable downpour compared to September, which saw the same temperatures but only a fraction of the rain, at just 10.8m – sometimes, that old cliche about an Indian summer comes true.

If we look specifically at the volume of camping related search terms, we can see how there was a growth in searches for sleeping bags and camping chairs across September, growing from 2,306 searches on the keyword sleeping bags on the first day of August, to 4,544 by the end of September.

[lightbox rel=”group1″ width=”860″
href=”” title=”Chart showing popularity of camping related keywords over time” src=””][/lightbox]

If we look at a Share of Voice chart for brands competing on a similar range of camping terms, we can see how some businesses have reacted to these changes.

[lightbox rel=”group1″ width=”860″
href=”” title=”Adthena Share of Voice chart showing brands competing on camping terms (No client data used)” src=””][/lightbox]

Tesco is the retailer that has taken the biggest advantage of the increasing popularity in camping terms in September 2014. Beginning in August and carrying on throughout September, Tesco manages to increase its Share of Voice across camping terms, overtaking both Argos and Asda – it even manages to secure the most popular advert for September, appealing to a broad audience with a neat offer for general camping equipment that cleverly packs in its range, savings, fast delivery, and a call for action. The ad saw a number one spot on the SERP with a high rate of traffic, a great win for the supermarket.

[lightbox rel=”group1″ width=”860″
href=”” title=”Tesco’s top ad serving camping-related keywords” src=””][/lightbox]

Moving into 2015, we can see the same kind of trends, with camping chairs shooting up, rising from 982 clicks in the beginning of June to 5,000 clicks by the start of July, as a May with 41.6mm of rainfall gave way to a June with just 12.2mm. Looking at the Share of Voice chart, it’s Argos who had made the most of this surge, unfolding its strategy and managing to up its presence, back above Asda and Tesco.

The other quirk of the Share of Voice chart is the top billing that Amazon manages to secure over February and March, claiming a huge share of the market, even above its usual strength. However, this can also be seen as a smart move from the supermarkets, dropping their spend on camping terms during the coldest, wettest months when people are least likely to be buying, letting unreactive Amazon pick up the slack, and the cost, possibly without seeing a healthy return.


It’s clear that weather can impact on customer behaviour, and, as a result, it should impact a sensible PPC strategy. It’s not enough to guess at customer behaviour based purely on the season – if a dry September follows a wet August, September may become the month for camping. That means specific meteorological data must be taken into account to maximise revenue. While brands have been aware of this, with a specific script even developed to help marketers adapt, there are other things marketers can do to stay competitive. One key solution is competitive intelligence, like Adthena, which can show you what the competition is doing, compare competing ad copy and track changes in the market.  A comprehensive solution like Adthena can help brands keep on top of any trend – even one as unpredictable as the weather.

No Adthena client data was used in this analysis


About the author

Lorna Rose Gill
Lorna Rose Gill
Lorna is responsible for acquisition marketing at Adthena, communicating their award-winning product and generating demand. She has developed her career in fast-paced, start-up environments, including two tech track 100 companies. She is curious and passionate and likes to find stories in data and technology.