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The Chill of the Moment

The Big Chill Part II: 5 Steps to Transform a Moment into a Movement

In honor of Throwback Thursday, I thought we’d do exactly that: throw it back to 2014 when  we were all engrossed with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The big news: it’s coming back.

The Ice Bucket Challenge is coming back, appropriately tweaked!

And the ALS Association is following some sage advice as it reintroduces the Challenge this August: When it ain’t broke, don’t fix it; just tweak it. The unexpected worldwide virility and success of this campaign had marketers, fundraisers and the public take notice. The ultimate reward: the birth of a movement.  Given the promotions unprecedented success, ALS is turning the Ice Bucket Challenge into an annual event until there’s a cure. this week, I examine the association’s tactics to transform the campaign into a full-scale cause marketing initiative. But first, let’s do a quick throwback to August, 2014:

Jeanette Senerchia and Anthony Senerchia, who is living with ALS and a co-founder of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, ask you to accept the Challenge again this year

The back story: What started out as a single video plea from an afflicted ALS person first diagnosed with the disease at age 26, has turned into one of the best examples of a successful fundraising and awareness campaign of a horrific disease with no known cure. Through the use of social media as Facebook and YouTube, the Challenge quickly caught on and exploded into a global social phenomenon.

The results: Last year, more than 17 million ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos were posted to Facebook which were watched by 440 million people,10 billion times. More than $220 million was raised globally with $115 million going to The ALS Association to fund new initiatives to find treatments and a cure for the disease.

So how did they do it, turn a moment into a movement?

Here are five simple steps:

A Lesson in Cause-Marketing: 5 Steps to go from a Moment to a Movement

Marketing Materials like this one help turn a moment into a movement.

1. Partner with Known Organizations:Major League Baseball has teamed up with ALS to launch this year’s campaign with a big splash! Throughout the month, each Major League Club will host its own ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and will then challenge another franchise, plus two other local personalities or organizations, to participate in the charitable effort. In addition, they plan to encourage their fans to donate to the cause. MLB is also donating $100,000 to The ALS Association.

2. Tweak Key Messaging: to transform the campaign messaging into the overall objective of making a movement, a simple tweak was all that was needed. Take the Ice Bucket Challenge to adding #EveryAugustUntilaCure.

3. Adapt with the Times: The serious drought of 2015 in some sections of the country has added a wrinkle to this year’s Challenge Campaign. But, the ALS savvy marketing team has provided alternative ways to take the challenge for the drought-conscience that are sensitive to the drought-laden residents with water restrictions. Suggestions include:
– Take the challenge in an existing body of water like a lake or ocean.
– Fill your bucket with an alternate substance like spare buttons, kale, or good karma.
– Skip the first few steps of the challenge and simply donate money to ALS.

New additions to the Ice Bucket Challenge:

4. Create Relevant Marketing Materials. Embellish the existing campaign with¬ “how-to” marketing materials such as infographics, videos, content, and downloadable images for social media use to further expand the messaging and call to action.¬

In 2015, will the Challenge go Up Periscope?

5. Go Social. Will 2015 be the year we see the Ice Bucket challenges on Periscope? The increase of social video options in 2015 has the potential to even more quickly bring a campaign like the Ice Bucket Challenge to virility. It will be interesting to see which, if any, of these new social video channels are utilized this year.

It’s not uncommon to repeat a winning campaign and turn it into a recurring annual event. That’s actually how most annual campaigns are born. The global social phenomenon of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a marketer’s dream come true. Transforming the moment into an annual movement is an ideal way to capitalize on an already proven cause marketing winner. Have a Tremendous Thursday. AS

Tags: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, cause marketing, social video, MLB

By Abbe Sparks

Abbe Sparks is the Founder of Abbe Sparks Media Group & Socially Sparked News. A social entrepreneur, she is a social media and content influencer who has been covering the entertainment, music, tech and advocacy sectors for over 25 years. A member of US Press Association, she has written for many online and print publications including the UK's Blues Matters Magazine, Big City Rythm & Blues & her former column 'Abbe's Sparks' for RFPalooza. You can also find her stories on Medium & Tumbler. Twitter: @asparks01

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