If you’ve been on Facebook at all recently, there’s one ongoing thread you haven’t missed:
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
While I find it hard to deny the spectacular goodness of this movement, there are bits of the idea that seem backwards to me.
In case you are not aware, the Ice Bucket Challenge is a fundraiser to fight ALS and raise awareness of the disease. Basically, this viral movement begins with a person accepting a challenge to dump a bucket of ice water over their head or donate $100 to the ALS Association. That person who accepts the challenge then chooses three more people to take on the task.
So far the campaign has raised an incredible sum of $1.35 million. Last year, the ALS Association raised just $22,000. That’s a hefty leap and a lot of money for a vital cause.
Yet, the brand guy in me sees a fundamental problem with this campaign. You see, the videos highlight the wrong people. Sure, it’s fun to see your friends’ reaction to being doused with a heaping container of ice water — but folks, the action suggests they are choosing NOT to donate. (To be fair, most say they are donating as well, especially those among the celebrity/sports set.)
But considering it from a pure marketing standing, the celebration should be for the people who gave the money, not those seemingly unwilling to.
Despite my two cents, the outcome from the ALS Fundraiser is a wonderful thing. I just wish the viral component had a little more clarity to it.