7 Marketing Lessons From The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

7 Marketing Lessons From The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

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No doubt you've seen this activity take over social media with everyone throwing freezing buckets of ice over their heads to raise awareness for motor neurone disease ALS. Forbes contributor Steve Olenski has found seven ways marketers can benefit from what's happened with this challenge.


The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge demonstrates the power of social media to influence cause marketing on a national scale.

The Challenge was a perfect storm of social media, celebrity and grass-roots philanthropy, producing hurricane-strength viral social engagement during the dog days of summer.

Unlike a hurricane, the Challenge showed how social media can be harnessed, directed and managed for a social good. According to Facebook, between June 1 and August 17, over 28 million people have joined the conversation about the Ice Bucket Challenge including posting, commenting or liking a challenge post and 2.4 million videos related to the ice bucket challenge have been shared on the social network.

Even if we don’t see another social storm like this again, the ALS Ice Bucket Challengeholds several important lessons for marketers trying to reverse engineer the secret of the ALS campaign’s remarkable success.

#1 Time It Right

The Challenge got underway in June and peaked in August. Its timing was perfect and it was a feel-good counterpoint to the images of violence in the Middle East and in Ferguson, Missouri that have dominated the nightly news cycle.

Summer is a popular time for vacations and many are able to enjoy a more relaxed work schedule. School is out and extended hours of sunlight allowed people to participate in the Challenge and video their super soaking after work. Plus, the nature of the Challenge matched the timing; an Ice Bucket Challenge would not have been as well received in winter. Anyone want pneumonia?

Check out the other six lessons here.

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