We’ve all seen it by now, everyone from celebrities to your grandma are dumping buckets of ice water on their head in the name of ALS.  People are challenged to either dump a bucket of ice water on their head or donate to ALS.  Many are doing both so they can get in on the action and also help a great cause.  It’s caught on like wildfire and the results are huge.  Problem?  Well, there are two sides to every coin.  

On one side, people would say, just look at the results.  As of this morning (August 20th, 2014), The ALS Association has received over $31.5 million in donations between July 19th and August 20th compared to $1.9 million during the same time period last year. There has literally been an increase of over $8 million since yesterday.  Let that sink in for a second. These donations have come from existing donors and 637,527 new donors to The Association.

On the other side, there are critics that say the challenge is doing more harm than good.  We’re wasting water.  We’re spending more money on ice than actual donations.  People aren’t understanding the meaning of the challenge and are just doing it to make a popular video on social media.  Excuse my bluntness, but to that I say – who cares?

Honestly, who cares?  I think the results far exceed anything the ALS Association could have ever hoped for.  $31.5 million seems like a whole lot of good being done.  And who cares if some people don’t understand the purpose of the challenge, isn’t awareness being raised just the same?  There always has to be a naysayer sitting in the corner, no matter what the situation, but can’t we all agree here that a ton of good is being done either way?  If Joe Schmo is only posting a video of himself on Facebook because he wants all his friends to see him without a shirt and he doesn’t actually donate – IT’S OKAY, because for every 5 Joe Schmo’s there is one extra that is donating.  This is working.

Meanwhile, let’s look at this from a marketing angle.  This is genius.  This campaign is the definition of viral. If you go to Twitter, it’s been trending for weeks.  People are using Facebook so that everyone in their world can watch a video of them dumping a bucket of ice water on their heads.  You’ve given everyone something in common to work with that they love – themselves! This is totally an opportunity for people to jump on social media and shout, “Look at me!” because everyone is turning around and actually looking.  Everyone feels like a hero for donating to a great charity.  Not to mention, darn it, that it’s fun.  I don’t know about any other social media marketers out there, but this is such a huge inspiration to me.  What a kick in the pants to get moving, get thinking, get creating a campaign that gets people involved in such a huge way.  One of our main goals is engagement isn’t it?  Have you ever seen engagement like this?  They hit it out of the park.

I’d like to hear your thoughts.  It’s okay, bring on the critics.  I stand by this one.  This is a great charity that is getting out of this world results that they’ve never seen before because of an amazing marketing campaign.  The good far outweighs the bad here for me.  What are your thoughts?  How does this inspire you to change your social media marketing efforts moving forward?

Meanwhile, while you’re waiting for your bucket to finish filling up: Donate Here