How Viral Movement Can Change The World

While the headlines are often dominated by shootings, riots, war, and other despicable acts, one headline has swept the country that is generous and heartwarming.  The Ice Bucket Challenge.

The fact that people have gotten behind such a movement isn’t surprising.  Nor is the fact that more than $50 Million will be raised for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) research.

I should note, that is an increase of $48 Million over what they raised last year.  What is surprising to me is that we haven’t been able, until now, to move the needle in this way in the medical community.

The magic of going viral has been harnessed countless times to expand enterprise, one of my favorites is Dollar Shave Club, you can visit their site at DollarShaveClub.com.  Going viral has become the modern day marketers crowned jewel.  The economics to viral are amazing and I have seen no better example than the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

1. Create something memorable – Dumping a bucket of ice on your head is pretty humorous.  As such, most people want to participate.

2. Viral must be scalable – There is a 3 to 1 scalability to the Ice Bucket Challenge.  Most people who participate, then challenge 3 friends.  This is the beauty of social media at it’s finest.  Movements can be spread quickly and on a personal level.

3. A good cause – The Ice Bucket Challenge is obviously for a good cause, so people feel compelled to participate.   But charity is not the only good cause.  The spread of humor, such as the Dollar Shave Club’s viral video is also a good cause.

4. Easy to spread – Wildfires spread so quickly in the dry, arid, and often windy climate of California because the flames are so easily spread.  Dumping ice on your head is easy to do and share.  If I propositioned you to donate a week of your time, I doubt many people would do it.

5. Data Capturing – When I donated, my email address was captured, thus giving permission for future marketing campaigns to hit my inbox.  Beyond that #IceBucketChallenge is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you name it.  This makes it easy to capture the data behind the movement.  According to Facebook, this is one of the biggest social media trends of all time.

What really makes me happy about he Ice Bucket Challenge, and why I chose to participate, is that I believe it can change modern medicine.

The recent revelation in the treatment of Ebola (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/ebola-patient-dr-kent-brantly-god-saved-life/story?id=25060979), has motivated me.  Until national news was made, we “didn’t have a cure.”  Once the nation and our current administration was involved, the USA was able to pump a cure out very quickly.  Perhaps this new funding for ALS research will so the same for this terrible disease.

First Ebola, now ALS.  If we all give a little to the same good cause at one time, what can we achieve?

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