Online Advertising has been known to take a spurt of activities during popular international events. Thus, a few may have been waiting for the Internet to be loaded with Online Ads as the world waits for World Cup 2014 to begin in Brazil. However, as we can see from the image below, a search on Google with the keyword “World Cup 2014” yields no ads in the SERP (Search Engine Result Page).
This is because FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) has trademark over terms like “World Cup”, “FIFA”, and “Brazil 2014”. What it means for the Online Advertisers is that, they cannot use the above terms for Advertising their products or services online. Though this is an abundantly helpful situation for the users (as most of them will type in the above keywords to search for information on the World Cup), this appears like a major opportunity lost by the Online Platform.
However, the Online Advertisers can and will use creativity to work around the copyright. An example of this can be seen in the Bing SERP, where such an ad appears for the mentioned keyword.
As can be seen above, the first ad seems like an ad to visit Brazil. It does not use “Brazil 2014” as it is prohibited but instead works with “Visit Brazil This Year”. This disguised ad uses the opportunity of the world cup to increase sale of tours during the period.
Also, the official partners of the world cup may be allowed to use the protected keywords to market their wares. This is evident from the Yahoo SERP, where Adidas advertises its world cup gear.
Since the honor of being the official partner, of the biggest football event, can belong to only a few, the rest will have to fall back on creativity to use Online Advertising to make use of the event. It will be interesting to see how many such ads emerge which can successfully work around the limitations.