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'ALS Ice Bucket Challenge' – one year on

Posted by
18 Aug 2015
This time last year I wrote a blog on social media crazes with a focus on the ice bucket challenge. Nearly every person of my Facebook took part in this craze of having a bucket of cold water poured of their head in aid of ALS charities. It has been described as the world's largest global social media phenomenon with over 17 million videos uploaded to Facebook which collected over 440 million views.

This impacted so many charities all over the world. In the UK the Motor Neuron Disease (MND) Association raised £7 million and in America the ALS association received $115million in donations during August and September last year. In fact, the American charity has been able to triple the amount it spends on research each year.

However, the impact wasn't just monetary. Chris James, the Director of External Affairs at the MND Association, said it made sufferers feel less alone as there was greater awareness of the disease. In fact the MND Association have released a new campaign called 'Last Summer'. This campaign focuses on real people who were diagnosed with the condition in the wake of the ice bucket challenge. One quote from a woman, Ailsa, who is featured in the campaign, said the social media craze made her feel "like the world” was listening. This must have been a huge comfort when most people hadn't even heard of it the disease in spring 2014.

Going back to my previous blog, a lot of negative views were expressed at the time over the impact and use of such social media crazes. As seen, this benefit has been extraordinary. Donations were at their highest and awareness has amplified more than anyone could ever have imagined.

Perhaps the success of the ice bucket challenge will encourage other organisations to creatively develop a way for supporters to engage with their causes and attract new supporters? Which social media craze is next?
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