2015 Digital PR Awards: Online Community

Winner: The ALS Association - ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

For most people, ALS was off their radar prior to the summer of 2014. With that in mind, the objective of the ALS Ice Bucket challenge was to garner mass awareness about the disease, and ultimately get that much closer to finding a cure.

The campaign rolled out slowly but strategically. The challenge dared folks to dump a bucket of ice water over their heads, post a video of it on Facebook, tag friends to do the same and donate money to ALS. First, close family and friends were challenged. Then it spread to adjacent communities. Then new cities. Then new countries. Then athletes and celebrities. Will Smith. Bill Gates. Oprah. Mark Zuckerberg. The original crew worked day and night to fan the flames and it soon became the biggest and most exciting social movement to ever exist.

The user-generated videos were fun and engaging, and they spread from one to many through the power of Facebook’s social graph and friend tagging feature. Likes, shares, hashtags and other trending tools also surfaced the videos and, before long, people’s feeds exploded with ALS Ice Bucket Challenge content.

This is the ultimate case study in virility, as over 440 million people viewed the videos with no media spend whatsoever. What became known as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge sparked a global phenomenon and unprecedented frenzy of activity, inspiring more people from around the world to take action than ever seen before on social media.

From every corner of the globe, people of all ages and backgrounds gave ALS the brand recognition it deserves and together 17 million videos were created, 159 countries participated, 70 billion video views were counted, $220 million was raised, and hope for a better future for ALS was created.

Honorable Mentions:

•             Easy Care - Love The Car Business

•             UN Foundation - +SocialGood