No one should doubt the power of social media. Consider the Ice Bucket Challenge. It is a marketing idea gone viral. Its intention is to bring focus to Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), otherwise known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”. It is a debilitating disease. The challenge calls for individuals to video themselves pouring buckets of ice over their head. The videos all mention ALS in some form in their message. The challenge is then passed on to three new candidates. Those who decline to take the dare are asked to make a donation to an ALS charity.
How did the concept start? Did some marketing genius come up with it? It was actually the brainstorm of Patrick Quinn, who heads up the charity Quinn for the Win. Quinn and his friend Peter Frates both suffer from ALS. Frates is active in the ALS Association. The two young men decided it was important for others to understand the disease. Apparently, the concept worked well. A scroll down any daily news feed demonstrates how the idea took fire. Donations to various ALS charities have increased substantially since the initiation of the Ice Bucket Challenge.
Why is the Ice Bucket Challenge a great marketing tool? Quite simply, it works. At first glance, it seems quite ridiculous. It might even seem insensitive or inappropriate to some. However, people are often swayed by the unusual. Admit it. If you have not done the challenge yourself, you most definitely clicked on the video to see a friend who has participated. If you did not know the perils of ALS, you certainly googled the disease. The concept did its job. It made you aware.
Marketing is intended to hit pain points and bring information. It is also more effective when it keeps its audience entertained. Obviously, the Ice Bucket Challenge accomplished all of these tasks. The challenge participants are all good sports and seem to enjoy presenting the message. For certain, it is fun to watch them doused with ice water. The challenge also gave information about a depilating disease. Most can sympathize with the victims.
Although many messages in marketing are veiled, the Ice Bucket Challenge is somewhat blatant. Again, it works. Learn about ALS. Make a donation. Make a difference. We might as well join on the proverbial bandwagon and suggest you make a donation to your ALS charity of choice.
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