By now, I’m sure all 469 of you have heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that went viral this summer. If you’re the “one and a million” who hasn’t let me fill you in on the correct way to help spread ALS awareness.
You Ask: How does the challenge work?
1. Receive a nomination on a form of social media
2. Dumb a bucket of ice cold water on your head within 24 hours
3. Post a video of yourself getting doused with water on any social media site
4. Nominate at least three people to complete the challenge
And The Catch…
If you don’t complete the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge you must donate a minimum of $100 to the ALS Association.
If you ask me this was a genius way to viral market Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) disease and gain awareness. If you’re like me, you had no idea about this little-known disease before your newsfeed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram was filled with videos with the hashtag #ALSIceBucketChallenge. Who didn’t want to challenge your mom, brother, friend or even your grandmother to get drenched with freezing cold water? That’s what made this marketing technique fun. It was simple and anybody could do it. It had a “ha-ha you won’t do it” feel to it. It was a bet. You couldn’t turn it down.
Starting in Beverly, MA Pete Frates (who is living with this disease and is a former Boston College baseball player) took this creative, inexpensive idea and ran with it. ALS may affect only a small percentage of the population, but now millions are informed with it and know how they can help. Celebrities too have taken the initiative to complete the challenge, allowing the challenge to reach a vast amount of high rolling donors nationally. Likewise, the timing of this phenomenon couldn’t have been more key. At the peak of summer this challenge went underway. No school, longer days, and higher temperatures; it was the only way I was dumping a bucket of water over my head.
Increased visibility and media awareness is key, and that is exactly what this challenge achieved. Not to mention raising an enormous amount of funding for research.