The Icebucket Viral-Hit Challenge!

Recently we saw dozens or even hundreds of clips about a (welldiscussed) so called Icebucket Challenge.


The background: The challenge is a movement to promote awareness of the disease ALS. Once you get “nominated” you have to pour a bucket full of ice water on your head within 24 hours and nominate other persons. Can´t you fullfill your nomination you are called to donate some money to the ALS foundation.

The most interesting point of this challenge is its incredible viral success! I can´t even open my Facebook without seing new challenges anymore.

What has made this movement such a success? Typical success factors of viral marketing!

1. Simplicity / ease to do:

Almost everybody has a smartphone in these days as well as a bucket full of water. One tap on the screen and you can record yourself pouring water on your head.

2. Fun:

Not only some of the challenge-videos are fun. With viral videos come fail videos and celebrities doing the challenge.

3. Call to action:

Within a specific timeframe (like 24 hours) we have to nominate other (3) people. It´s part of the game. This multiplicates the amount of people doing videos in a short period of time.

4. Do it for a reason:

The reason for the videos and the challenge is to promote the ALS foundation. People feel good sharing the topic and even donate publicly. This is the easiest and funniest way to tell people that they “are doing something good”.


So, we can call this challenge annoying or senseless but at least it´s a viral hit and an illustrating case study for an incredible viral success.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

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