August 21, 2014 8:41 pm

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: A look at the success behind the movement

Saskatchewan Roughriders' Rob Bagg completed the ice bucket challenge on Friday.

Global News

REGINA – The power of social media in online campaigns is nothing new, so what made the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge such a hit?

Dignitaries, athletes and celebrities across the globe have taken part in the fun, helping to raise over $40 million.

When compared to the roughly $2 million raised in the same time period last year, the success is undeniable.

Alec Couros, a technology and media professor at the University of Regina, explained Thursday that he hasn’t seen any other campaign spread so quickly.

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“From the very beginning when it came out on social media, it had a really personal tone to it,” he explained. “People’s stories matter and I really think this is one of the things that helped with this.”

Online trends, like Neknominations, die out as quick as they begin – with a few exceptions.

Movember for example, has grown significantly to 21 countries, after embracing online videos as part of their campaign.

“Social media is powered by the public and really if you’re not engaging them in an authentic and credible way, they’ll call you out on it,” said Peter Bombaci, country manager for Movember Canada.

Other non profits have certainly taken notice of the latest viral cause, but according to president of the MS Society of Canada, Saskatchewan Division, Erin Kuan, they aren’t adding the idea to their marketing strategy anytime soon.

“I think the success is because it happened organically and there was no plan,” she said, in regards to the Ice Bucket Challenge. “It just exploded in the most powerful way, it’s something new, it’s creative and it’s fun.”

Couros explained that the Ice Bucket Challenge is proof that there’s no little way of knowing what cause will blow up next.

“We can use social media for good or bad, but ultimately it comes down to the hearts of the people who are using it.”

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