The Viral Phenomenon that is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

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Scrolling through your Facebook, Instagram or YouTube account, it would be hard not to notice the amount of people dumping buckets of stone cold water on themselves, with a list of nominations and a charity to support. This uniquely genuine challenge enables us to learn how an internet sensation can become the next big thing, or simply a successful PR campaign.

Wondering what it’s all about? Let us give you some background…

 

The challenge was first noticed by the ALS Association when a former baseball player took to the challenge, where his personal story spread throughout social media, thus creating the challenge to his peers.

The concept of the challenge is to encourage participants and their nominations to donate to the ALS Association, a not-for-profit organisation that does research and helps those fighting the debilitating neurological disorder. The ALS Association have reportedly received over $23 million in donations as the challenge is the next social media craze, taking the internet by storm with over 2.4 million videos and counting.

The ALS Challenge is more than just a PR Stunt

Starting from a humble beginning the Ice Bucket Challenge was never meant to be a campaign, but with steady momentum from the hashtag #ALS and the countless celebrities jumping on board, the ALS Association backed the challenge and are riding the social media craze while it lasts.

Making donations to the ALS Association is what differs this campaign form past examples, like the Cinnamon challenge, or the Nek Nominations that were passed around with no real purpose or charitable gain.

The challenge with a campaign is connecting people with each other, not just with the brand. It is much more powerful when content is shared between friends rather than from an organisation itself. The challenge focused on tagging – nominating people, allowing it to spread globally, increasing the amount of people that could get involved with the challenge.

Connecting to your audience is essential, which the ALS organisation did successfully when they engaged in the social media conversation at the right time to keep the momentum going. This made it easier for them to share their press release with the public.

Take a look at our favourite celebrity ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video…

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdSEhG90n9I

The Next Chapter…

 

With millions being raised already, all that’s left to do is jump on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube and start nominating and donating for your chance to be involved in the latest social media pandemic, because blink and you’ll miss it.

From all of us here at Wordstorm, we have our fingers crossed you don’t have too many chunks of ice in your bucket!

Guest appearance/blog post by Francesca Groves

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