Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge from a few years back? The viral videos had everyone from LeBron James to former President George W. Bush getting buckets of icy water dumped onto their heads — all for a good cause, of course.
The Ice Bucket Challenge was created to support research into a cure for ALS, or Lou Gherig’s Disease. But after several months of people dumping ice cold water on themselves, some were starting to show skepticism about what this challenge could actually accomplish.
Well, those viral videos got so much attention that they also caused donations to come pouring into The ALS Association — to the tune of approximately $115 million. And thanks to that funding, researchers have now identified a gene that is linked to the disease. That’s a major breakthrough that wouldn’t have been possible had all those people not been willing to make frozen, sopping wet fools of themselves.
The Takeaway of This Viral Marketing Example?
And viral videos don’t just make a difference when it comes to raising money for a good cause. Businesses can also use them to get messages across or even raise money. The important thing is to have a goal in mind for those videos — otherwise you may find yourself with a bunch of really enthusiastic fans but no clear way for them to help you reach your business goals.
Ice Bucket Challenge Photo via Shutterstock