A campaign to promote awareness and funds for ALS research has gone viral on Facebook. Though it wasn't orchestrated by marketing pros, there are three key take-aways for hospital marketers considering an interactive social media campaign.
This past weekend I attended a friend's pool party, expecting to spend the day eating barbeque and lounging in the sun. Instead, I wound up spending a good amount of time recording video of people dumping ice water on themselves.
As it turns out, many of my friends had been tagged in the Ice Bucket Challenge, a viral social campaign promoting ALS research and taking over Facebook newsfeeds everywhere.
If you've somehow managed to escape it, the Ice Bucket Challenge was started by a 29-year-old man in Massachusetts who was diagnosed with the disease in 2012. He presented a challenge to his friends and followers on social media: either dump a bucket of ice water on your head, post proof on social media, and donate $10 to ALS research or, if you can't hack the cold, donate $100 to the cause.
Since the challenge launched in late July it has exploded online. Celebrities such as Martha Stewart, Matt Lauer, Lance Bass, and Elizabeth Banks have accepted the challenge, and the number of A-list participants is continuing to grow; just this week Ethel Kennedy challenged President Obama to join in.
The White House responded on Twitter.
While word isn't in on just how much the viral movement has raised, the director of the ALS Therapy Development Institute in Massachusetts told the Boston Herald that donations are ten times higher than usual.