Is Your Marketing Team up to the Challenge?

shutterstock_139680334The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (where through social media, people were challenged to dump a bucket of ice water over themselves and then donate to ALS and challenge others) took the country by storm in the summer of 2014, raising well over $100 million for ALS. By promoting awareness in a fun way, donations kept coming.

What can your business learn from this about marketing, and what are some new things out there like this one?

As the following article, “18 Reasons the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is Your New Standard in Digital Marketing” notes don’t overlook the ways this initiative proved a marketing success.

They include:

  1. Social media made it accessible.
  2. It was fun, even though ALS is a serious condition.
  3. It was able to spread via social media not only throughout the United States, but also around the world.
  4. People felt good doing it, cold, but good.
  5. Celebrities became involved on their own accord.
  6. The goal was always clear – that it was for ALS.
  7. Friends nominate friends so there is a personal connection.
  8. The deadline made it something that would get done and not put off.
  9. People like to put themselves on social media – this made it about them in fun way.
  10. The videos were fun to watch and always different.
  11. Social media has more than one platform. People were posting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other sites to cover even a broader spectrum.
  12. It was simple – anyone could do it. You just needed ice, water and a bucket.
  13. The ice bucket challenge itself didn’t cost anything or take up much time.
  14. The amount to donate was small and manageable.
  15. You didn’t have to raise a certain amount to participate.
  16. Anyone could nominate anyone, from friends to parents to coaches to teams, anyone!
  17. Young people could be involved, inspiring the younger generation to get involved in a philanthropic way.
  18. People made it what it was – whether they strived for creativity or did it in the most basic manner, real people were taking the time to do it, and have fun.

Following in the Footsteps

But now what – it’s a hard one to copy. The key is to find something in the same genre, but not too similar.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention began the Doubtfire Face for Suicide Prevention which has been promoted as honoring the late Robin Williams and raising suicide prevention awareness by recreating the scene from Mrs. Doubtfire where Robin Williams puts his face in cake, then nominating someone.

Another one, the Pie in the Face challenge raises money for Huntington’s Disease Society of America with a pie in the face and a nomination.

Maybe nothing will be as successful as the Ice Bucket Challenge, but is there anything unsuccessful about raising awareness and a bit more money?

Take any of these marketing ideas and reasons for success and incorporate them into your marketing campaign.

With a little luck, you may just go viral.

About the Author: Heather Legg writes about social media, small business and working from home.