In what is the best viral video of the year, the Ice Bucket Challenge has become a powerful fund-raiser for the U.S. national ALS Association. Combining social consciousness with the power of social media, the viral video sensation shows participants being dumped on with a bucket of icy cold water – who then challenge others to be dumped on or to contribute $100 to the ALS Association.
Most of the challenges result with both the ice water followed by generation donations. From July 29 to August 15, the national ALS has received $6.7 million compared with $34,800 during the same period a year ago! The challenge was created to a former Boston College athlete, Pete Frates, who was diagnosed with ALS in 1012. He started the challenge and it quickly turned into a phenomenon embraced in social media. Check out the “ice bucket challenge” on social media and see some of the unique approaches to the icy bath.
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Start by discussing the power of social media. Have students provide examples of positive social media, and even a few negative examples.
- Discuss the various elements that made these examples go viral. Can these be replicated?
- Show ice bucket challenge videos on YouTube. http://youtu.be/-YOSqYGqW6A
- Poll students: how many had heard of ALS prior to the ice bucket challenge? After?
- What are the elements of this campaign that made it go viral?
- Divide students into teams. Have each team select a social issue, concern, disease, or public service area. Develop a potentially viral campaign for this given the aspects of viral campaigns previously discussed.
Source: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, other news sources