It was a craze that swept social media into a flurry of action, but in the best way.
The ALS Icebucket Challenge was the dare that went global. It didn’t matter who you were or where you’re from, everyone could be a part of it.
So first, what is ALS?
ALS means Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease), and is a degenerative disease that causes muscle weakness, paralysis, then respitory failure. This disease attacks the brain cells that control our spines and keep our muscles moving.
Every 90 minutes someone is diagnosed by ALS.
And most people only have a 2-5 year life expectancy.
The challenge was simple; get a bucket of ice water, nominate 3 people who either have to do the challenge or donate to the ALS, then dump the water over your head.
How did it become a viral phenomenon?
Well it was through social media. Particularly it was because of the likes and shares on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter that really took the campaign global.
People film doing the challenge and then post it on a social media website with the hashtag #ALSicebucketchallenge or #icebucketchallenge.
- Facebook: had over 2.4 videos posted, generating another 28 million likes, comments or responces.
- Instagram: had over 3.7 million videos uploaded using #ALSicebucketchallenge or #icebucketchallenge.
Big names who got involved
Because of the international atttention this campaign received, there was bound to be celebrities, comedians and politicians nominated. Just some of those names included the likes of:
- Oprah (crowned best scream by Time)
- Bill Gates
- Jimmy Fallon, Rob Riggle, Horatio Sanz, Steve Higgens and The Roots
- LeBron James
- Michael Jordon
- Taylor Swift and Jaime King
- Selena Gomez
- Ryan Seacrest
- Justin Timberlake
- Chirs Pratt
- Jack Black (video is an assemble of celebs including Mark Zuckerberg, Steven Spielberg, ‘The Rock’ Dywane Johnson, Robert Downey Jr., Ashton Kutcher and more)
- The cast of Harry Potter (with the How To Get Away With Murder cast included)
- The Simpsons
- President Obama (who declined the bucket of ice water and donated instead)
- And so many more!
What was the whole point?
There’s actually two big outcomes from the the icebucket challenge.
Did you know about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis before the challenge, or had you heard of Lou Gehrig’s Disease prior to this?
I certainly hadn’t. And the statistics show that I wasn’t the only one.
Just from July 29 to August 28 2014 there was US $98.2 million raised. There are still on-going donations to ALS, even today. Because of this, August is now the month ALS dedicates specifically to raising awareness and getting donations.
But thanks to the donations from the Icebucket Challenge, there has been a breakthrough!
Scientists have discovered an ALS gene, and this gene has now been identified as a main contributor gene to the ALS disease.
Okay, so this is what I’ve found about the Icebucket Challenge, but what do you think?
Was this campaign a good one? Or do you think they could have done it better?
Did you join in and do the challenge? Or did you donate?
Feel free to let me know below.