Why Did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Work?


I’m teaching an MBA Social Media Marketing class this semester. One of the most interesting things to happen this summer in July and into August was the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness and funds for the ALS Association. As of this writing, this viral fundraising campaign has raised over $88 million. By the time I hit submit on this blog post, it will probably be well over $100MM.

By all counts, a marketing sensation that rivals any other philanthropic cause in recent memory (#Livestrong, #Kony?).

So why did it work?

Why this and not the hundreds or thousands of other marketing efforts for other just-as-worthy causes?

Here’s my take:

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