The ALS Association and the "Ice Bucket Challenge"


    The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is an inspiring case study into the power of social media. Douse yourself or get doused with a bucket of ice water and place it on a social media channel (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) then nominate others to do the same. Those who refuse the challenge are asked to donate to the ALS charity of their choice.

    Although similar ‘challenges’ exist, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was catalyzed into a global trend by Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball player who was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 27. His story is chronicled in the moving video by ESPN.

    Without a doubt, the Challenge has succeeded by increasing awareness of ALS (especially in younger segments that had less awareness) and raising money for research (over 40 M USD in three weeks). As a case study on social media marketing, the Challenge demonstrates the effectiveness of a grass roots campaign. The Challenge was not designed or directed by The ALS Association, the benefactor of most of the donations.

    Thank you to so many clients and colleagues that have “tagged” me as part of the challenge. I am sure that the last thing anyone wants to see is a video of me soaking wet. I am equally sure that the ALS Association will have advocacy and research priorities that need resources. Consequently, Market Edge has made a donation to The ALS Association support those objectives.

    Paul Drees

    Market Edge