Today’s post comes to us from Clara Compaire of GLOBALHealthPR Spain partner, Berbés Asociados.
There is no doubt that the “Ice Bucket Challenge” has become one of the most viral campaigns ever known. Thanks to this initiative and the power of social media, Amiotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) has gone from being a virtually unknown disease globally to one that is on everyone’s lips.
In Spain, it’s catching on. The challenge is simple, attention-grabbing, and places no limit on the number of people taking part. All that is needed is to be nominated by a “friend”, a bucket of icy water, a device to record your soaking and three new names to nominate. Once nominated, you have 24 hours to perform the challenge and donate €10. If you fail to do so within this period, the donation multiplies and rises to €100. The challenge displays one of the key characteristics of a successful communication campaign: its message is easy to take viral.
However, a few days ago, the president of the Spanish ALS Association, Adriana Guevara, said that this campaign is achieving its aim, “society is being made aware of the dangers of this disease.” At the same time, she said people are not completing the other part of the challenge, which is to raise funds, and she called on people to make a donation as well as to soak themselves in icy water.
Many of the people who have publicised their challenge and nominations online are famous and this has created excitement and all sorts of comments. In terms of the rest of the population, some have participated in a proper, caring way (John Seng, Chairman of Spectrum) while for others it has got a little out of hand, like the individual nominated who decided to participate by releasing 1.500 litres of water on himself from a seaplane.
This is a mass campaign that provides celebrities with free visibility and a fun game for ordinary mortals. However, sight should not be lost of its initial purpose and it should be continued in an altruistic and caring manner. In the case of action focused on health matters, raising awareness is the definitive aim, but it should not be forgotten that the purpose is to collect money to promote development in research on ALS and help patients.