Why Has The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Been Such A Huge Success?

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In today's world of social media, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been a splashing success. With several celebrities, super star athletes, and everyday hardworking people all pitching in to raise awareness of ALS, the success of the challenge exceeded most people's expectations. In addition to raising awareness, the challenge raised a chilling amount of money for ALS.

What Is ALS?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a neurodegenerative disease that progressively destroys the individual’s ability to control the movement of their muscles. As a result, patients in the latter stages may become paralyzed. The disease is fatal. However, there are several different therapies and devices designed to help manage the symptoms of the disease. In addition, scientific research has brought forth much needed understanding of the disease.

The Ice Bucket Challenge

Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball player, was diagnosed with ALS. As a result, the concentration of awareness of the disease was centered in the region. From the Boston area, cold splashes of ALS reality swept the nation like a flood. The long list of participants helping to spread ALS awareness includes:

  • Former President Bush

  • Oprah Winfrey

  • Mark Zuckerberg

  • Chris Martin

  • Bill Gates

  • Katy Perry
  • And many more

How Does It Work?

The challenge is simple: you have 24 hours to make a video of you having ice water dumped over your head once you have been challenged. You can choose to donate, dump water on your head, or do both, depending on the variation of the challenge. However, the few common facets of the challenge that were unwavering were awareness and social media.

Simply put, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been an epic success. How successful? In the previous year — 2013 — during the same period, the ALS association raised $2.6 million. So far, the Ice Bucket Challenged has raised more than $100 million. In addition, the challenge has exponentially raised awareness and expanded the general public's interest in the disease.

Why Did It Work?

The Ice Bucket Challenge gave everyone a fun way to get involved and to give back. The challenge demonstrated the power of social media. Furthermore, the challenge showed that when the power of social media is effectively harnessed, directed, and managed, it could be a incomprehensible marketing tool.

According to Facebook, between June 1 and August 17, the Ice Bucket Challenge had stirred up over 28 million people. In addition to the challenge-related posts, comments, and likes, there were 2.4 million videos of people getting doused with a bucket of ice water. The great part is it was all for an undeniable social good!

However, it's hard to deny that the Ice Bucket Challenge has become overplayed. So how can you still contribute to a great cause without making your Facebook friends hastily bypass a video they've seen a hundred times already?

Play off the Ice Bucket Challenge's success and good intentions, but add a unique twist to make it your own, like we did at ROI Online. We called ours the Nice Bucket Challenge. Instead of wasting ice cold water on a hot Texas Panhandle day, we filled the bucket with ice cold water bottles, food, socks and toiletries, and passed the buckets out to those in need in our community. It's not all about making a splash on social media; it's just doing something nice for someone else.

We at ROI Online challenge YOU to create a fun way to give back! What ideas can you come up with?


Tired of seeing the Ice Bucket Challenge over and over and over again? Be sure to check out our video of our NICE Bucket Challenge below!




Photo Credit: Anthony Quintano via Compfight cc

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