MSN Hosts Visa's ''Ideas Happen''

Visa said it tapped MSN again to host the online hub for its "Ideas Happen" contest. Similar to last year's contest, consumers between the ages of 18 and 29 can enter by submitting their ideas for new business ventures at a community Web site hosted by MSN. Twelve winners will be awarded $25,000 each from Visa to fund their business proposals. Today is the last day to submit entries.

MSN stated that a poll conducted by market research firm Millward Brown showed that consumers' perception of Visa "improved markedly" after last year's "Ideas Happen" campaign.

For the study, commissioned by Visa's online agency, AKQA, Millward Brown polled 687 people who visited MSN's sites before the "Ideas Happen" promotion ran and 1338 people after, according to Mike Ripka, an account executive for Millward Brown Intelliquest.

The survey found that the number who deem Visa the best credit card overall increased by 13 percent, and the number of those who agreed that Visa offers unique and different features jumped by 9 percent.

But it's unclear whether the "Ideas Happen" campaign contributed to the improved perceptions. Respondents were drawn from visitors to all of MSN's sites, so they might have been exposed to the campaign, but didn't necessarily participate, said Ripka.

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