Crawford raises questions, awareness for leukemia society

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Cindy Crawford has teamed with Yahoo to give more than just a beauty mark and Cover Girl smile to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

The campaign began with "Light the Night," a fundraiser held annually in 250 communities nationwide. The walk commemorates the lives of people touched by leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma.

"Yahoo is the world's No. 1 portal, and the society saw this as a great opportunity to capitalize on Cindy's star power to reach a tremendous audience and build awareness of the Light the Night walk campaign and recruit new participants," said Nancy Klein, senior vice president of marketing and communications for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, New York.

Participants in the Aug. 31 walk raised funds to support the society's mission to find cures and to provide education and services for patients and their families. Ms. Crawford's public service videos and questions for Yahoo Answers appeared on its site at http://www.lls.org/. Her younger brother died of leukemia when she was 10.

Ask the Planet was Yahoo's kickoff for the campaign, debuting Yahoo Answers to Internet and search users. The primary demo was done for ages 25-45. The online feature harnessed celebrity and leader status to attract people by encouraging global knowledge and opinion sharing in Yahoo Answers.

"This proved to be a very powerful way to attract users to Answers, but also to educate them on important social issues and encourage debate," said Patrick Crane, vice president of marketing for Yahoo. "Our work with Cindy Crawford took this successful recipe and extended it to include a question and a video from Cindy."

The campaign made use of in-product marketing, such as using inventory from within Yahoo Answers, to program the initiative to the community. It also made use of the Yahoo.com home page, where Ms. Crawford's questions were displayed for several hours. The effort garnered 2,979 answers from the community.

Yahoo is using the campaign to attract people to Yahoo Answers who are interested in contributing and sharing knowledge. The better the knowledge contributed, the more that knowledge is then incorporated into Yahoo Search Marketing results.

"This is Yahoo's broader strategy behind Yahoo Answers -- to create a more comprehensive search engine by harnessing the knowledge of the largest Internet community," Mr. Crane said. "Inviting respected people to ask intelligent questions on Answers typically solicits highly thoughtful and intelligent answers from our community."

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