Ice, Ice, Baby Update!

Here’s an exciting update to my post below:

Breaking Research News: Largest Ever Study of Inherited ALS Identifies New ALS Gene NEK1

Three years ago, my Mother-in-Law passed away from ALS after a 14-year battle with the disease. Having provided flyers and some promotional help for the numerous ALS Walks we had participated in, the latest #IceBucketChallenge sweeping the nation was greeted with, well, mostly confusion. How did this start? Why buckets of ice water? How does this relate to ALS even a little bit?? However, the numbers are starting to speak for themselves and I am thrilled to see that the craze not only brought much-needed awareness to the plight of the victims of this disease and need for a cure, but it also brought in money. Real money. Donations to the tune of $31.5M (to date) compared to $1.1M last year. INCREDIBLE!

How did this start? Well, many people are claiming to be the creators of the Ice Bucket Challenge but the site credits Beverly, Mass., resident Pete Frates with the viral campaign. Apparently, Frates, a former Division 1 college athlete with Boston College baseball, campaigns vigorously to promote ALS. And he’s also a GENIUS at Social Media marketing. I mean, come on, this guy just created a multi-year, multi-million dollar campaign based around the “Gatorade Dunk”!

 The Gatorade dunk is a sports tradition involving dumping a cooler full of liquid (most commonly Gatorade) over a coach’s (or occasionally star player or owner’s) head following a meaningful win. The tradition began with the New York Giants football team in the mid-80s. According to several sources, including Jim Burt of the Giants, it began on October 28th, 1984, when Burt performed the action on Bill Parcells after being angered over the coach’s treatment of him that week. The Gatorade website claims the tradition began during the 1985-87 Giant season, although this is more likely the time the phenomenon gained national attention. Parcells would be doused after seventeen victories that season, culminating with Super Bowl XXI.

Doesn’t every marketer and designer worth their salt want to create a campaign that has so cleverly and thoroughly taken over the nation?! The answer is a resounding, “DUH, of course!!”  But, how? According to a recent post on by Minda Zetlin, you can’t.  She does offer these five tips:

  1. YOU can’t create it but others will. (According to Facebook, Blake Shelton’s #IBC post was what contributed to the campign going viral.)
  2. Scare yourself. (Ex: “Make-up-free Mondays”)
  3. Give people something to do. (Dump ice water on your own head–if you are strong enough as many fails have shown!)
  4. Give it a larger purpose. (Donating to an organization)
  5. Think long-term. (I’m already thinking that ALSA is going to have buckets of water to dump on volunteers after completing an ALS Walk.)

It is not surprising that some people are tiring of the IBC, but you have to admit that it’s turned something silly into ICE COLD CASH. And, that is something we should all let soak in.

Wanna contribute? I’ll make it easy for you:

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