MSN Invokes Karma For Charity Campaign

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MSN is launching a karmic charity campaign called Under the Butterfly, a concept based on the famous Butterfly Effect that asserts small events impact larger ones. It’s “karmic” because participants in the event will have a choice: keep a prize or donate the cash equivalent.

Designed to benefit and promote the Boys & Girls Club of America (BCGA), Microsoft has commissioned its butterfly logo (found at the top of MSN Web pages) to flutter when users visit certain channels. Dropping by the MSN homepage, MSN Money, or MSN Health, for example, will make the butterfly briefly flutter (though I haven’t yet seen one do it. Did somebody kill the butterfly?).

Mouse over the butterfly and a creative execution called a “Flutter” appears with interesting tidbits or humorous tales related to the content on the webpage and links to content found deeper within the MSN network. But every once in a while, those flutters come bearing gifts (or a monkey’s paw?).

From now until the end of June, over 2,000 of the flutters will “reward” MSN users who find a sweepstakes Flutter with prizes like a year’s supply of monthly gourmet dinners or fruit, gift certificates for Office Depot and Staples, tanks of gas, sets of tires, and T-shirts.

Here’s the catch: if you mouse over a sweepstakes Flutter, you can keep the prize or have MSN donate the cash equivalent to the BCGA. So it becomes a question: do you screw over the kids or take the tires? If a butterfly’s wings can affect a Hurricane in the Atlantic, can one small act of selfishness make karma come back and bite me in the butt?

Ask Earl, he knows.

“The sweepstakes part of the Under the Butterfly campaign is our way of thanking our customers for being a part of the MSN community,” says Jocelyn Paul, senior marketing manager for MSN. “It is also a great opportunity to enlist our customers in our desire to help youth around the country through Boys & Girls Clubs of America. If the prize isn’t a perfect fit for them, but they are interested in being generous, then we’ll make a donation to the organization on their behalf.”

And if you keep the fruit, you can expect a piano to be dropped on your head.

There are 3,900 Boys & Girls Clubs across the U.S., which aim to keep some 4.6 million latchkey children off the streets and in productive environments. Funds raised through the Under the Butterfly Campaign will subsidize computer labs, career training, and programs to foster an interest in technology and the arts.

Or you can keep your precious T-shirt.


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MSN Invokes Karma For Charity Campaign
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