Case Study of Ice Bucket Challenge

Case Study of Ice Bucket Challenge

case study of ice bucket challenge

Ice Bucket Challenge has become viral in past few weeks. There are many famous and non famous viral videos on all the social networking sites. This simple game has drawn the mass attention globally. It started as a simple game in the name of ALS research, but it became something different and people unknowingly, unknowingly started to do it. It created a buzz in the social media. You might have seen it online, in newspapers and other media portals. Or may be you might have taken the challenge yourself as well. Not just a common man, even the celebrities too are in race of  accepting this challenge and did it. It went viral specially in July 2014. Though its not a very unique or something special which can be noticed, just simply you have to dump cold water on your head. It is done to raise money for charity. A case study of Ice Bucket Challenge will help in revealing the fact that what made this simple thing go viral.

Pete Frates, a 29 year old resident of Massachusetts was diagnosed with ALS, so her started posting about it on social media, where his father too helped him. This challenge first got mass attention on June 30, 2014 when the Morning Drive aired on weekdays by Golf Channel was televised on social media. They performed a live on air Ice Bucket Challenge. After it, television personality Matt Lauer did the Ice Bucket Challenge on July 15, 2014 on NBC’s The Today Show. After Matt Lauer, golfer Chris Kennedy on the same day did the challenge and invited his cousin for the same whose husband was a patient of ALS. Even US President Mr. Obama was also challenged for this. Former President George W. Bush did the challenge and invited his fellow Bill Clinton. The UK PM David Cameron was invited for the challenge by Alex Salmond and Russell Brand. People, celebrities, politicians, athletes etc every one has  done this challenge. Mashable, a British news website called it the Harlem Shake of the summer.  The New York Times reported that more than 1.2 million videos have been share on Facebook between June 1 and August 13, 2014. On Twitter this is more than 2.2 million between July 29 and August 17. It became so famous that Slate published an article where the writer Will Oremus wrote about a new challenge, “Take the ‘No Ice Bucket’ Challenge”. It goes like:

“Its called the no ice bucket challenge, and it words like this:

Do not fetch a bucket, fill it with ice or dump it on your head. Do not film yourself or post anything on social media. Just donate the damn money, whether to the ALS association or to some other charity of your choice. And if its an organization you really believe in, feel free to politely encourage your friends and family to do the same.”

The data by businessweek.com 

The ALS Association had raised an amount of $1.35 million just because the challenge went viral, while last year this amount was just $22,000. Now, the ALS association has reported that the number has reached $100 million, which is generated by more than 3 million new and old donors. While the thing that is more surprising is that the initiative was not even started by ASL association itself. But the donation gathered is a record in itself. Though due to its so popularity, the fun challenge reached to the brains of critics as well. A number of criticisms have been reported against the campaign. The challenge has been accused of just a fun rather than donating money to the charity. It has been reported that the challenge is mere a wastage of water, while there a drought in California, people are wasting water for just fun.

This year, social media has experienced the social virality at its best. The social media proved to be a milestone in booming the challenge all over globally. In the month of August only the tweets with #icebucketcahllenge  peaked more than 90,000. No matter it was just a social attraction, but it can teach many things to the companies and marketers. The challenge can be taken by anyone. We all can pour ice water. Anyone can take the challenge and complete. There is no specific format, just a simple rule, no place, no dress. Just you need to shoot a video, invite three of your known, friends and upload one any social media that you life. The challenge invited to others are not sent via emails, text, yet they have been invited directly on the video. It’s an psychological strategy that when you are asked to do something in person, you may tend to ignore. But you are asked to do the same thing in public, you would like to do it. It is a case of social shaming element for those who have been invited but didn’t accept the challenge. It gives a 24 hours time period to respond. It’s a deadline and people cant get their things done without a time limit. Most videos of the challenge are short may be not exceeding a minute and fun to watch. Moreover, ALS has nothing to do with the video, nor the video is about any research, still the people are using hash-tag in their content #IceBucketChallenge. Before Ice Bucket Challenge, ALS was just a disease name in medicines, but now it has become a household term. This tells the marketers that the content should be simple and short, digestible with entertaining values. It has not to be branded directly. Just as Ice Bucket Challenge branded the ALS. The marketers should use a specific call to action technique for their brands as challenge in any form inspires and motivates others.

What made this challenge a socio viral campaign? The first thing is that was made for the social platform. And due to this fact, it reached the mass attention. It has its social connection with the people, which is driven emotionally. The case study of Ice Bucket Challenge proves it to be a marketing potential of social and viral marketing.