ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Huge Success, Internet Marketing Lessons Learned

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Huge Success, Internet Marketing Lessons Learned

Are there Internet Marketing Lessons to be Learned from the HUGE Success of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?

Let’s take a moment to analyze what is so different from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge versus various other Internet Marketing and Word-of-Mouth / Social Media Marketing campaigns.

But First it would help to know What is ALS?

ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and was first identified in 1869.  ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and eventual leads to death.  In 1939 it became known more from the famous New York Yankee as Lou Gehrig’s Disease which ended his MLB baseball career.

Primary Ingredients of The Ice Bucket Campaign.

  1. FOR FREE!!!  Never underestimate the value of charity and donations.  The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge wasn’t being done for greed or profit.  It was done to raise awareness to a cause and help raise donation revenue to support the cause and the research.  IMPORTANT!  It is being done by various volunteers and employees that care and are trying to make a difference.  The sole motivation is to help, NOT get a new Mercedes 🙂
  2. #1 is really one of the biggest and most valuable driving forces behind its success.  But as they themselves have shown in the past, the ALS alone is not the home run formula that has driven the success of this campaign.
  3. Next is the actual “Challenge”.  Understand, in this day and age people are looking for challenges.  They can’t wait to take a challenge for almost any reason.  This statement lends itself to the understanding of the success behind the Tough Mudder, Nettle Warrior, Tough Guy Challenge, Spartan Race, and various other challenges.
  4. They created a challenge that has been long since associated with sports and the most mainstream and successful sports such as NFL football, MLB Baseball, NBA Basketball, NHL Hockey, Soccer, Golf, and more…  From small fry to professional sports, winners have been getting ice buckets thrown on them for century’s.
  5. Hence, the now psychological aspect of the challenge.  People associate ice buckets being dropped on them with success and winning.  I am a winner is in the subconscious mind.
  6. Then of course, you get the sports figures to start doing it.  Sure, I don’t think it would take too much convincing to get the New England Patriots that are EXTREMELY used to having ice thrown on them to take this challenge.  It was so easy even Tom Brady and Bill Belichick were talking, smiling, and happy to be involved.  While donating a couple bucks from their million dollar bank rolls certainly was not taking any food off the table.  And then of course, they got to call out three more people or teams.  Thus opening the door to stick it to their division again calling out the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, and New York Jets.  This alone could have sparked the wild fire.  But this campaign was jam packed with all hands on deck.
  7. Getting Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints, famous people, movie stars, actors, bands, artsist, musicians, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and maybe just as important, regular day-to-day people.

Just a quick note:  When you get virtually every form of famous person on board sharing the concept for free and for fun you can’t help but have success!


Internet Marketing Tools

Now we have reviewed many of the ingredients in this campaign.  Let’s take a quick look at the tools used to make this successful Internet Marketing campaign.

  1. Massive use and leverage of free video and video sharing platforms and venues.  Including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and many others.  And taking advantage of quick video posting and editing technology to make even the least Internet Web inclined people successful at posting videos.  With an actual call out and call to action in each video engaging at least 3 more people to pass it on.
  2. They invoked the pass-it-on technique or “hot potato”.\
  3. Social Media or SMM.  Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, MySpace, Digg, You name it.  They used it.
  4. SEO or taking advantage of long tail search engine optimization and links.
  5. Word-of-Mouth:  Via all media outlets.  It caused such a stir that it was on TV, the News, The Web, The Radio, everyone was talking about it and talking about it at work, school, church, etc…  The more it was spoken about the more it was spread.  And today, when people want to spread something there is no limit to the methods that can be used.
  6. Email Marketing and strings.
  7. And just about any and all media dissemination options available today.


But understand the ALS didn’t actually make this happen.  Much like a forest or brush fire, they simply lit the match.  The platform is already in place and ready for a mass fire or to spread like wildfire whenever the proper match is lit.

We would love to hear your thoughts.


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