Pour Another One: Ice Bucket Challenge is Returning Soon

The ALS Association is helping to bring back the popular viral event later this month. It could be another windfall for the association's fight against the disease. But that doesn't mean the association plans to overdo it with the marketing campaign.

Your buckets have been sitting lonely and dry for way too long. Perhaps another round of the Ice Bucket Challenge might be in order?

The ALS Association (ALSA) and other groups involved in last year’s viral charity event are plotting its return at the end of July and throughout August. The event, which last year raised $115 million for causes related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)—also known as Lou Gherig’s disease—led prominent celebrities, including Bill Gates, Jimmy Fallon, and George W. Bush, to get soaked in freezing cold water for charity.

We never want this to be something that is too corporate or too slick.

In case you forgot how it’s done, here’s Will Smith getting a few ice cubes thrown his way:

The association has been careful about handing out the donations received from the viral campaign, channeling many of the funds into research for treatment therapy. (You know what they say: More money, more problems.)

ALSA appears to be taking a similarly careful approach to reigniting the campaign. The association plans to create only small marketing efforts around the campaign, including social media ads and a microsite created pro bono by the marketing firm TBWA. The reason? The group wants to ensure the campaign keeps its organic feel.

“We never want this to be something that is too corporate or too slick,” ALSA Chief of Staff Brian Frederick told the Wall Street Journal last week, who added that the “integrity” of the campaign was important to the organization.

“There is a fine line between orchestrating it and having it be organic,” he said.

At last month’s Marketing, Membership & Communications Conference, in Washington, DC, ALSA Chief Chapter Relations and Development Officer Lance Slaughter emphasized that the association was also trying to ensure that the ALS community was playing an active role in its fundraising efforts, noting that although the association didn’t start the campaign itself, it has been a “disproportionate beneficiary” of the event’s success.

“The thing that we’re going to do is to enable the ALS community to speak on their own behalf, as best they can,” Slaughter said during his presentation. “That’s what started this in the first place.”


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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