The American Cancer Society held their annual Relay For Life and added in a Second Life component for those who could not participate in real life (or for those who just wanted a new kind of experience). There were many detractors regarding American Cancer Society's decision to role this event out in Second Life as well (I was not one of the detractors - in fact, you can read my thoughts on it here: American Cancer Society - Second Life Relay For Life).
$40,000 US dollars was raised in Second Life for the American Cancer Society and their Relay For Life this past weekend.
Big number, well deserved and I know that money will go to the people who need it most.
What's the marketing lesson?
It's the same as it ever was - engage people. Create a unique, interesting and memorable experience and they will do your bidding (like buy more, give you more and be more loyal to you). Truth is, being based in Canada, I'm not exposed to the American Cancer Society. So, even if the goal was just awareness (along with some unique PR), then mission accomplished.
Who doesn't love it when Avatars start helping humans?