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7 Marketing Lessons from the  ALS Ice Bucket Challenge


You would have to have been living in a cave not to have heard of, or been exposed to, The ALS Bucket Challenge to raise awareness and donations for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The popular challenge certainly raised awareness for the cause worldwide and raised more than nearly $6 million in less than two weeks!

According to viral content experts Upworthy, less than half of one percent of posts touch more than a million people. So, it’s important to examine what made this campaign stand out among the more than 150 million posts a day.

One of our seven marketing lessons from the Ice Bucket challenge campaign is, “There is nothing new in marketing, there are only new adaptations of old marketing ideas.” Creating a little discomfort and having a little fun with an outlandish idea to raise money for charity certainly isn’t a new idea. It dates back to the 1904 Boston Polar Bear Plunge. As you look for the big idea to make you next ad campaign stand out, consider creating a new or novel adaptation of an old proven campaign, perhaps from an industry totally unrelated to your own.

Another lesson from the successful Ice Bucket Challenge is the synergistic value of multi-media campaigns. The Ice Bucket Challenge benefited from exposure on nearly every media, from Facebook to radio shows, and from YouTube to TV on shows like Good Morning America.