AKQA Helps Visa Reach Dreamers

SAN FRANCISCO AKQA has created a new online contest site for Visa USA, in conjunction with MSN, aimed at making dreams come true for young adults.

The Web site, called Ideas Happen (www.ideashappen.com), encourages adults between 18 and 29 to submit entrepreneurial, community-related or personal dream ideas. Other visitors to the site can discuss the ideas in an open forum and eventually vote on them.

“This is targeting youth with the idea that we understand what is important to them and can help them achieve what really matters,” said Nancy Friedman, vice president of advertising for Visa USA. “In this 18 to 29 age group, we know they have tons of ideas and dreams and the passion and energy to do them.”

Consumers also see Visa in general as “truly an enabler for people to live the life they want to, or take the trip of a lifetime,” she added.

The ideas will eventually be winnowed down to 10 for each category. Those decisions will be made by a celebrity judges panel made up of music producer Quincy Jones, Craig Newmark, the founder of craigslist.org, and Brian Jones, the first man to circumnavigate the globe in a balloon. In June, visitors will vote among finalists to select 12 winners who will receive $25,000 each to make their dreams come true.

Advertising supporting the site was also created by AKQA, San Francisco. Work includes a guerrilla posting campaign in Austin, Texas, and San Francisco, and online, print and radio messages in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Detroit, Dallas, Houston and Boston.

Since the site launched earlier this month, it has generated 3,400 entries and received more than 1 million unique visitors, said Friedman.