Three Big Takeaways from the #IceBucketChallenge for Digital Marketers

September 1, 2014

Unless one has been stranded on a remote island somewhere recently, one is sure to have heard about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

The viral campaign has captured the imaginations of millions of people across the globe and some of the numbers being reported are truly mind boggling.

Last week, the ALS Association reported that more than $100 million have been donated by more than 3 million people in just a month through the Challenge.

Facebook reported that 28 million users were talking about the challenge between June 1 and August 17 and that during that time frame, 2.4 million Ice Bucket Challenge videos were shared on its platform.

There has been considerable debate on whether the ice bucket is a good idea or not, the tremendous success from the Challenge has certainly inspired marketers worldwide to analyze the minutest aspects of the campaign strategy.

Here are three key ingredients that we feel were a huge factor in the astronomical triumph of this unusual social campaign:

1. Famous celebrities played pivotal role

Though started by people who were already invested in the cause, the campaign picked up speed when it caught the imagination of heavy-weight influencers, leaders and personalities around the world. Once celebrities like Chris Kennedy, Bill Gates and Ben Affleck got involved, their posts and videos played a vital role in taking the message viral in an extremely short period of time.

2. Fun as an essential ingredient

The playful nature of the challenge appealed to a large majority of people as it appealed to their sense of humor. Many people opted to take the ice bucket challenge even as they donated the money to the ALS Association. This is a timely reminder that fun and amusement can be major motivators in getting people to act.

3. For a good cause

Even when the idea of being dunked by icy cold water in public was not their idea of a good time, many people played along because the campaign was for an excellent cause. Social campaigns can draw in people when they touch the altruistic side of their personality.

Did you and/or your organization participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge? Please share with us and our audience what motivated you and what the biggest you learned from your participation.

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Partner Voices

Until recently, the opportunity to have a celebrity attend an event, attach themselves to a name-brand or endorse a certain product or idea was untouchable. The thought of paying a person to promote a product was seen as something only Fortune 500 companies could afford. Social media has changed all that with brands and businesses utilizing celebrity influencers to connect directly with their demographics and increase sales and profits.