Just a simple task – fill a bucket full of ice and water, turn your iPhone on “selfie” mode, upload a video to your social media sites, and then challenge a few of your closest friends. Seems like an odd way to help make a difference, but it is working! According to alsa.org, as of August 20, 2014 the ALS association has received over $31.5 million in donations compared to the $1.9 million that came in during the same time period last year. And what can the organization attribute this year’s success to - the Internet phenomenon known as the #IceBucketChallenge. In case you’ve been out of the loop for the past month, the Ice Bucket Challenge was started as a way to get donations for the ALS Association by asking for donations of $100 or creating an opt-out that involves filming yourself dumping a bucket of ice-cold water over your head and then requesting three of your friends to follow suit. It's social media peer pressure at its most noble and philanthropic.
It’s like the old saying “no publicity is bad publicity” – the number one goal among campaigns such as these is to create awareness.MTV has posted a list of the challenge rules on their website, here you’ll notice that, yes, although you may forego paying $100 by accepting the Ice Bucket Challenge, you still have to donate money to the ALS Association. So not only is EVERY participant donating but they are also keeping the trend alive by nominating three more people and having those three people nominate their own three and so on. It’s pure genius if you ask me, what does this generation like more than taking photos & videos of themselves, perusing social media sites, and forcing their friends to do silly stunts? According to Forbes.com there are four main things that every successful viral campaign needs to include:
- Grabbing People’s Attention
- Inspiration to a Higher Call
- A Simple Call-to-Action
- Some Measure of Controversy