"Nemo" batters U.S., is a win for Weather Channel
In 2012, the Weather Channel made the announcement that it is was going to assign names to storms, much in the same way hurricanes are assigned names. Despite the bemoaning of local and national meteorologists, the cable outlet went ahead with the practice.
Low and behold, this past weekend, the East Coast – and us in Wisconsin – got hit by Nemo. Yep, the name of the cute clownfish from the Pixar film was adopted by the channel to be able to assign a persona to the snow, ice and cold that caused messes on sidewalks and accidents on freeways, along with a number of deaths and physical ailments.
BBC touted the headline, "Snowstorm Nemo: North-eastern US and Canada dig out" and USA Today, "Flights slowly resume at Nemo-battered airports."
In my humble opinion as someone who consumes way too much media, I thought the naming of storms was a brilliant idea. Personally, I hate it, I think it is stupid. But, this practice was a clever business move for the station for a couple of reasons.
First, if other news outlets adopts the practice and copies the same name for the storm, it's a win. The Weather Channel, who comes up with the name, is automatically the expert and the other news media boost the credibility of where the name came from. It is as if it's getting the stamp of approval from the places that people put their trust in to give them news and information. This practice puts the Weather Channel ahead of the rest.
Second, giving something a name, allows it to have a persona. This allows the audience to hate something. If you needed to travel by air and Nemo kept you grounded, then you are allowed to pile as much hate as you want on Nemo. Then, in that common hate, you can join thousands of others staying tuned to the channel to watch countless hours of coverage – and advertisements – during the storm.
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