How the Ice Bucket Challenge Increases Awareness for ALS

Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS

At Garrett Specialties we believe that building awareness for any cause that affects our daily lives is important. We support various causes through the providing promotional awareness items. Promoting a cause requires a social network, education and interest. Health awareness also requires dedication and fund raising.

A great example of how one organization was able to increase awareness was through a social media video challenge. The #IceBucketChallenge increases awareness for ALS. If you haven’t heard of it simply search the hashtag #icebucketchallenge on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

The idea is that you either make a donation to ALS or you take the challenge which is to have a bucket of ice water dumped over your head. Since this is for a good cause most people did both; they braved the ice water as well as made a donation. Supporters who have taken the challenge video tape themselves getting soaked by the ice water. In each video the two or more people are nominated to also take the challenge which has created a viral effect. Through these challenges the ALS Association has been able to raise millions of dollars in just a few weeks.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled with the level of compassion, generosity and sense of humor that people are exhibiting as they take part in this impactful viral initiative.” – Barbara Newhouse, President and CEO of The ALS Association.

ALS is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis also know as Lou Gehrig’s disease for the famous baseball player.  It is a neurodegenerative disease. It affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It causes rapid progressive weakness and muscle deterioration.

The ice bucket challenge has built a buzz around social networks and has reached many important people such as Mark Zuckerberg who challenged Bill Gates to do it next. Here is a video about Pete Frates who suffers from ALS. Frates is a 29 year old guy who is said to be the one who started it all.

I have seen many of my social media friends take the challenge, have you? What social causes do you support? Do you have any clever fund raising ideas like this one? What awareness promotions have you used or received to promote your cause?

57 thoughts on “How the Ice Bucket Challenge Increases Awareness for ALS

  1. I normally DESPISE raise awareness campaigns like this. However, I hate them because they are “raising awareness” for diseases like breast cancer, which I’m pretty sure everyone is already aware of! ALS is a lot less sexy than boobies and I think it needed a boost in attention. Also, many of the campaigns to raise awareness like this don’t focus on getting donations, and this campaign has managed to raise millions. So this is one I am happy to support!
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  2. I appreciate what people are doing with the bucket challenge, I do. I just think it is sad, we need something like this to GET awareness for ALS. People should be aware already, people should already be contributing to a cure for it.

  3. Hi Arleen – I think the icebucket challenge is just the best. I have a friend whose father had ALS and that is a horrible disease, for the patient but also for the family to watch their loved one go through that. Raising awareness and funds for research that may find the cure is wonderful.
    My best and most fun fundraiser: I had received 3000 pine seedlings from the Ministry of Natural Resources. At Christmas I set up a display at the local Farmer’s Market with a sign – grow your own Christmas tree. For a donation, people received one of the pine seedlings to plant. This was a tremendous success with little ones – they loved the idea of growing their own Christmas tree.
    Lenie
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  4. I’ve seen this all over the news. I’m not sure how the idea came to be, but it’s wonderful that it has taken off. Regardless of the sort of silly aspect, the idea is that the mission has been accomplished. This disease struck a friend of mine, so I have been aware of ALS for some time. It’s good to see the attention this has brought.
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  5. Hi Arleen,

    What a great way to raise money and consciousness! I think the ice bucket is a fun way to participate in a fundraiser for ALS. It is something easy to do and of course, I’m sure many have taken videos doing this. What a great way to spread the word.

    I am so glad Garret Specialties provides promotional awareness items! What a great way to give back!

    -Donna
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  6. I’ve been seeing this for a few days, but only realized just today the connection between how the icy water is supposed to mimic the jolt to the nerves that ALS sufferers feel. I guess I’m proof it takes lots of repetition before a message is made clear 😉 I’ve found it amusing to see just how much ice water various people have been willing to dump on themselves.
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  7. This Ice Bucket thing has hit hysteria mode. I’m actually doing a class on it and surprisingly, most of my students here in Korea know about it. Quite fascinating. Of course, there are slacktivists out there who won’t actually do anything for this cause but Frates has really started something big here.

    This has to go down as probably one of the single greatest marketing/charity causes in history. So much buzz and hype. Thanks for giving it more coverage. Hopefully more diseases and debilitating conditions get this type of recognition.
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  8. I didn’t have a bucket of ice dumped on my head — but I did send a donation to ALS. My husband’s mother died of the disease as did the wife of a friend. I think it was a brilliant idea to raise awareness of a disease that doesn’t get the attention of the public but deserves it. As of today the promotion has raised $22.9 million compared to $1.9 the same period last year. So it’s working. If you want to donate, type in ALS Association in your browser.
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  9. I’ll be honest. I feel two ways about this kind of awareness raising:

    A. Excited. And happy. It’s so great to see so many people take part. I think it’s a great way to use social media to bring attention to such an important cause.

    B. Dismayed. Sure, people can help spread the awareness, but when something becomes more of a popular meme than an actual tool to raise money, I fear the real message – and need – gets lost in translation.

    I’m enjoying watching people do it. And I have a few friends who have opted to donate but then still get water dumped on their heads. And I’ll likely do it if it happens to me. Great post.

  10. Hi Arleen; the campaign has been amazing. they have raised ten times what they did last year and are close to twenty times as much. just this morning i saw where george bush and his wife were challenged. he took the ice and wrote a check so she wouldn’t get her hair ruined. 🙂 he challenge bill and hillary. can’t say that I’ve received or been part of anything this cool. its almost a once in a lifetime kind of result that all marketers wish they could come up with. thanks for your company’s support of causes, max
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  11. I believe it’s important to raise funds and awareness for causes we support. Taking a creative approach is a great way to start conversations and, as is the case with this challenge, get a lot of attention!! My 7 year old and I will be taking part in our first “Fly-A-Thon” this coming Saturday to help raise the funds necessary to bring PE to underserve schools. I’m excited to be taking part in this, especially since my daughter will be participating in the event with me. No kid is too young to understand the importance of giving back and staying educated about issues that affect those around them.
    Valerie Remy-Milora recently posted…The Gift of Giving BackMy Profile

  12. I KNEW you would blog about this because it was just so good. When I first came across this marketing campaign, I thought, Arleen should break this down and tell us why it worked… and you did! 🙂 This isn’t about marketing genius, it’s about having fun and caring. What the internet does best is focus our attention on things that appeal, tickle, bemuse or other wise capture our attention. More importantly, it’s about doing that and focussing on something that really matters. 🙂
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  13. I saw this story on ESPN a few days ago. I have no problem with the ice bucket challenge. The problem that I do have are the ones who are just doing the challenge just to do it. I’ve seen some videos where I’m pretty sure the people don’t even know what Lou Gehrig’s disease is.
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  14. I haven’t been challenged as of yet but whether I do or not, I’ll donate. I know someone with muscular dystrophy which is a similar neurological disease. I think the campaign has been wildly successful with celebs stepping in and even matching peoples donations. It has certainly brought ALS to the spotlight for the time being, which is a nice change as the impending breast cancer awareness month of October is just around the corner when we will be saturated in all pink all the time.
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  15. Hey Arleen,

    Well he definitely made everyone more aware and I think that this challenge, although as silly as it seems, had literally raised over $50 million dollars if I’m not mistaken. That’s nothing to laugh about.

    I would also say who doesn’t know about this disease like all the other ones out there but when nothing is being done to help learn how to prevent it or let’s just say they aren’t close to finding a cure and need more funding then go big and make more people aware. Raise the money needed and let’s find a darn cure people.

    I applaud all of those that donated and if watching people pour ice water over their heads is the way to do it then so be it. Not be though, I give to other causes.

    ~Adrienne
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  16. well I beg to differ here that such a thing has really helped in raising awareness about any issue. I think it had resulted in more of a fun activity for most people including celebrities and a wastage of a very precious resource i.e. water.

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