By now you will have noticed your social news feeds inundated with videos of brand leaders, friends and celebs drenching themselves with ice water to raise awareness and money for ALS research.
Basically how it works is that someone who wishes to take part (or has been “nominated” via social media by a friend) films themselves pouring a bucket of ice water on their heads followed by a “call out” challenging their friends to do the same within 24 hours and/or donate to the cause.
What’s unique about this movement compared to other viral hits we’ve seen (hairy armpit selfie trend) is how large companies and celebrities have felt compelled to join in. Brands should be watching to see what we can learn from this.
Brands often struggle to find innovative ways to get consumers participating and engaging with their products and services online.
They find it hard enough encouraging audiences to participate on social media (getting consumers to register their details to win prizes, hashtagging and retweeting) but most people wouldn’t usually dump buckets of ice water on their heads!
So the first lesson brands can learn from this when applying to their own campaigns is to make it fun and simple! What’s great about the #icebucketchallenge is that most people have a smart-phone, social media page and a bucket. Plus, the challenge doesn’t require any special talent so people can get as creative as they want and personalise their videos. This also teaches brands that perhaps loosening the reigns a little and giving consumers more room to control the message encourages higher engagement. After all, people love feeling like they own something!
Another key take out from the #icebucketchallenge is that it gives participants an opportunity to give back and make a difference. Aside from participants raising awareness and funds for ALS, it’s also a great way for brands and celebrities to immerse themselves in charitable initiatives and be “part of the people”. I think the lesson here is that brands activities should always be inspired by a higher ideal as this makes people feel good about themselves.
The #icebucketchallenge is also a great reminder of how people love storytelling and appreciate when they have a platform to contribute something of value whether that be entertaining, informing or educating.
Check out the videos below of brand leaders and celebrities jumping on the #icebucketchallenge bandwagon.
Can’t quite decide which ones cooler!