The Ice Bucket Challenge, sometimes called the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, has been the biggest viral phenomena of the year and it proves how powerful Social Media can be. It’s a challenge that consists on dumping a bucket of ice water on someone’s head to raise awareness of the disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and encourage donations to research. It went viral on social media during July–August 2014. It started in the USA, where it’s had the biggest impact, and it rapidly went global. When celebrities like Justin Timberlake, Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg decided to accept the challenge and to pass it on, the initiative grew remarkably and became one of the biggest viral campaigns ever on Social Media.
The challenge dares nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and then nominating others to do the same. A common stipulation is that nominated participants have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation.
There have been in excess of 2.4 million ice bucket-related videos posted on Facebook, and 28 million people have uploaded, commented on or liked ice bucket-related posts.
On image sharing website Instagram there have been 3.7 million videos uploaded with the hashtags #ALSicebucketchallenge and #icebucketchallenge. Justin Bieber’s has been the most popular – with about one million “likes”.
From 29 July to 28 August this year ALS received $98.2m – compared with $2.7m donated during the same period last year.
Average daily visits to the ALS association website were about 17,500 before the ice bucket challenge, compared with the peak of 4.5 million visits on 20 August (of which 83% were new to the site). During the past month there have been about 30 million visitors in total.
And as of 29 August the ice bucket challenge had 4,483,726 Twitter mentions. ALS Twitter followers had increased from 8,975 in early July to 21,100.
So it’s probably safe to say that awareness has been increased.
Celebrities and athletes have joined the cause and football players haven’t been an exception. Players and managers, from Messi to Jose Mourinho have accepted the challenge and got soaked for the ALS.