The ALS #IceBucketChallenge has taken over Twitter and Facebook, and this past week several MR industry notables joined in. The Challenge entails donating $20 to the ALS Association and filming yourself pouring a bucket of ice water on your head, then challenging three more people to do the same. If they don’t complete the challenge they are asked to donate $100. And of course the video needs to be posted on your available social media networks.
If you’re not familiar with this terrible disease here is a blurb:
ALS was first found in 1869 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, but it wasn’t until 1939 that Lou Gehrig brought national and international attention to the disease. Ending the career of one of the most beloved baseball players of all time, the disease is still most closely associated with his name. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
This is a wonderful example of visual media virality, gamification, the power of influence, and how social media drives awareness. The ALS reports that:
As of Sunday, August 17, 2014, The ALS Association has received $13.3 million in donations compared to $1.7 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 17). These donations have come from existing donors and 259,505 new donors to The Association.
For all who doubt the marketing impact of social media, this should be a wake up call. When done cleverly and in an engaging way, social campaigns do move the needle.
The current wave of MR participants started last Thursday when Tim Lynch of FocusVision issued a challenge that included myself and Kerry Hecht of Dub. Here is Tim’s video: Tim Lynch #icebucketchallenge .
At the same time, Mike MacLeod of Lightspeed was also challenged and threw down his own gauntlet (see his video here).
Kerry and I responded within the allocated 24 hours and have kept the vector expanding. Here is Kerry’s response: Kerry Hecht Labsuirs #icebucketchallenge, and for your viewing pleasure my own:
Among those I challenged was Tom H. C. Anderson, who upped the ante (and the anticipation) in his own inimitable way:
You can read his take on his blog here.
This morning Heath Adams of Australian researcher firm Sprout Research showed us how it’s done Aussie Style:
Folks like Oprah Winfrey (and her buddy Gail of course), Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Eddie Vedder and many others have all joined in with their own videos. For my money though the best overall has been Bill Gates:
I’ve talked publicly about my very personal connection to neurological conditions, so this cause is one I am most definitely a supporter of. I hope the rest of the industry will join me and others in raising both awareness and donations for it. PLus, it’s fun!
If you’ve participated in the challenge, please post a link to your video below!
Lots of folks have now joined in with their own videos, here a few that I saw this past week: