5 PR lessons from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
By now, the majority of the Western world has seen that video of Anna Wintour being doused in a bucket of iced water. But this was not the handiwork of an anti-fur campaigner.
Wintour’s water attack is part of the viral campaign that netted a charity over $50 million.
Earlier this week, the don of Vogue accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, joining a host of A-listers including Ben Affleck, Taylor Swift and George Bush, who also voluntarily subjected themselves to an iced-water drenching to raise funds and awareness of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that controls voluntary muscle movement, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
For weeks we’ve watched celebrities and friends alike soak themselves on camera and nominate others to do so within 24 hours, or forfeit in way of a $100 charitable donation.
What made the ALS marketing campaign go viral? Here are the 5 elements:
1. Emotional AND logical appeal. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge caters for everyone: it is silly enough to do it, and makes you feel stupid if you don’t.
2. Celebrity certification. Justin Bieber’s Instagram fan base of almost 20 million followers were treated to his bucket challenge. Then he nominated Obama.
3. Amusement. By allowing water thrown on her, Anna Wintour beat many people to the punch; over 70,000 clicked to see the embodiment of dignity - drenched.
4. Simplicity. If you make work for your audience, you’ll lose them. Most people have easy access to bucket of water and a camera phone. Hopefully, a towel.
5. Shareability. By its very design, the #ALSIceBucketChallenge was engineered to go viral with the rules of nomination and allure of the video content format.
What appealed to you about this campaign? Have you participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? For more information or to donate to ALS head to www.alsa.org