Between the Lines: Advertisers seek Cup glory

The World Cup will provide a welcome boost to traditional global advertising revenues, but will also offer advertisers the chance to experiment with some new ways to communicate with consumers.

This week, it emerged both Unilever (page 2) and Adidas (page 1) are planning advertiser-funded TV in the run-up to the tournament - in Adidas' case, by turning an ad into a genuine content idea.

Ad-funded programming is not the only emerging communications tool expected to benefit. Although plans to broadcast the games to mobile phones have experienced technical hitches, ad-funded, football-related 3G content to mobiles should take off this summer.

Yahoo!, which has the online rights for the World Cup, is planning to show highlights of the 64 matches online rather than broadcast the games in their entirety, something it hopes will appeal to time-poor consumers and the growing number of home broadband users.

Expect a slew of new World Cup-related initiatives from advertisers too, from blogs to podcasts to internet gaming.