Birthday Weather Tool: Making climate change personal - and inspiring action

The challenge:

With the Paris Climate Talks approaching, SumOfUs wanted to shine a light on the fact that many of the event’s sponsors were actually major polluters. Our challenge was to convert some complex messaging into an engaging resource that would resonate with a wide audience.

One main objective underpinned the project: to recruit online campaigners and grow SumOfUs’ email list. So how did we do it?

What we did:

As Brits, we love talking about the weather! But while we might remark on an unseasonably hot spell, or complain about persistent rain, we don’t automatically link unusual weather patterns to climate change and the effect it’s having on the weather we experience every day. To prompt people to make this link, we created the Birthday Weather Tool which highlighted changes in the weather in the years since the user was born.

We trawled the internet for the detailed meteorological information we needed – and struck gold when we found the US army data set containing global weather data for every day of the last 100 years.

The user journey was simple: tell us your date of birth and where you were born – and crucially, your name and email address so we can send your results – and we’ll tell you what the weather was like on the day you were born. Results were personally relevant and piqued users’ interest – encouraging organic sharing that spread the message to more people without any extra spend.

We created further intrigue by asking supporters to share their result to find out why it mattered. After getting the result – and whilst people were still engaged – we then linked this back to the theme of extreme weather driven by climate change.

The results:

The tool was a huge success, bringing in over 300,000 new potential supporters to SumOfUs’ email list, without any paid promotion. It also encouraged repeat action – with 6% of users going on to take a second action and further solidifying their support for SumOfUs. SumOfUs have since integrated the tool into their new supporter welcome journey – providing engaging content and encouraging further signatures and shares.