Case Study on Ripple Effects of Ice Bucket Challenge On Social Media Channels

5 Min Read. |

Ripple Effects Of Ice Bucket Challenge

The term “Ice Bucket Challenge” has become a generic phrase for anyone who is on social media. Videos, photos of famous personalities and commoners performing this challenge are all over social media.

How it Began:

In 2014, to raise awareness about ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a neuron disease, two friends Pete and Pat (diagnosed with ALS) designed this out-of-the-box challenge that went viral in no time.

What is It:

The Ice Bucket Challenge is an initiative to collect donations to help those who were diagnosed with ALS.

Once challenged, a person needs to film himself or herself, pouring a bucket of iced water over the head. The same video to be uploaded on web. Once soaked in this cold water, he/she needs to nominate three more people to do the same. Failure  to do so, within 24 hours, the person needs to make a donation towards the cause.


This initiative went so viral on social media, celebrities such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, George Bush, and from our country – Abhishek Bachchan, Sonakshi Sinha and Akshay Kumar have taken up the challenge.

The Success of the Campaign:

This powerful, successful campaign had over 2.4 million tagged videos on Facebook. In addition to this, there were over 2.2 million tweets about the challenge. Public awareness and charitable donations to ALS increased tremendously. From a mere 1,63,300 views about ALS, the views per month grew to over 2.89 million per month in August 2014.

In terms of monetary success, The New York Times reported that the ALS fund had received over $40 Million from 7 lakh donors within a 30 day period.

Towards the end of August 2014, ALS association had declared that the total donation received touched a $100 million.

Ripple effects: As a result of which……
Every bucket counts

Such an unexpected success and fame for the Ice Bucket Challenge, triggered many more similar campaigns to mushroom in various parts of the world.

1. My Tree Challenge:

Founded by actor Mamooty, this challenge began in Kerala. Inspired by the Ice Bucket Challenge, this activity involves planting a sapling and challenging others to do the same. The campaign began on 30th of August 2014, where actor Mamooty planted the first tree to kickstart the campaign. He challenged celebrities such as Shah Rukh Khan and Suriya to do the same. The Facebook page has over 1.6 Lakh likes and growing.

2. The Rice Bucket Challenge:

Rice-Bucket-ChallengeOriginated in India, this challenge spread to other south Asian countries as well. The Rice Bucket Challenge involves donating a bucket full of rice to the poor and needy.

Ms Manju Kalanidhi, the brain behind the Rice Bucket challenge, felt that the “Ice Bucket challenge” was artificial and a sheer waste of water. On August 23rd 2014, she started a Facebook page to support this cause. Within one day, the page received over 7000 likes and had an overwhelming response on social media.

The hashtag #ricebucketchallenge was created, and within one month there were over 11000 tweets. Soon enough, the Rice Bucket Challenge was covered in International publications such as Huffington Post and Chicago Tribune.

3. The Rubble Bucket challenge:

With the ripple effect of ALS – Ice bucket challenge, the people of Gaza started “The Rubble Bucket challenge”. This involves pouring a bucket of rubble on the heads to bring attention to the suffering that the local Gaza residents face every day.

4. The Love Bucket Challenge:

Started by the Kerala news daily, Malayala Manorama, Love Bucket challenge encourages people to fill a bucket full of goodies and donate them to those who deserve it.


Interestingly, brands too are taking up such challenges. Samsung UK’s marketing team took the Ice Bucket Challenge by pouring ice water on its Galaxy S5 model and trolled its competitor brands, iPhone 5S, HTC One M8, Nokia Lumia 930 by nominating them to take up the challenge.

6. The Kaapi Challenge:

When the city of Chennai was celebrating its 375th Anniversary, The IPL team Chennai Super Kings decided to give a twist to the celebration. The CSK players were shown a video of a lungi-clad man making filter coffee and the players were asked to copy the kaapi Even though the players were hesitant, soon enough Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Bravo, Ashish Nehra, Mohit Sharma and Mithun Manhas took the Kaapi Challenge hands on. Hashtag #SuperKaapiChallenge was created exclusively for this. And, as expected, each of the player’s videos received over 2 lakh plus views on YouTube.

7. The Wake up Bucket Challenge:

With so many popular similar challenges popping up, in the month of January 2015, a water-heating equipment manufacturer, Racold Thermo, decided to make use of this funky idea to promote their products. Calling it the “Wake Up Bucket Challenge”, the idea is to pour a bucket of warm water over the head and record a video of the same. For every 25 such videos that Racold receives, it will donate one water heater to the under-privileged. The campaign could manage over 500 participants and thereby helped over 5000 under-privileged people have a warm bath.



Analysing the macro view of this phenomenon, what make these challenges click:

  1. Ideas that travel beyond geographical borders with the power of social media are a greater success
  2. Brands perform better when they engage customers and give a creative opportunity for them to participate with the Brand.
  3. A perfect blend of Fun + Social Cause + Ease of participation helped these ideas work
  4. Let customers to the talking. All these successful challenges let the customers create their own stories. Hence, the personal touch added to the success factor.
  5. Great marketing campaigns are supposed to be authentic, worth-sharing, engaging and valuable and that is what Ice Bucket Challenge and other concepts delivered.

Social Media can do a lot for your business growth if used the right way. To understand the complete manner in which Social Media can help you grow, enroll in our Social Media Marketing Course.

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