ice bucket challenge

The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS has certainly got people talking. While the challenge itself has both haters and supporters, the incredible amount of donations the ALS Association has received has demonstrated that it’s definitely effective. Of course, its popularity has spread from individuals to brands, resulting in a number of purely promotional “challenges” featuring brands looking for some positive press. Some brands, however, accepted the challenge in such a way, that they not only brought attention back to ALS research, they also helped spread ALS awareness to their fans in a meaningful way. Here’s what they did to accomplish that.

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Emphasis on Donations, Not Just the Ice Bucket Challenge Itself

Coca-Cola‘s Wendy Clark accepted the challenge, with her pal the Coca-Cola polar bear nearby to help her. What’s important to note, though, is the fact that she emphasized the donations aspect of the challenge, in addition to the ice. That aspect of the challenge seems to be getting lost in some of the challenge videos. Clark made sure to call attention to it and encourage Coke fans to do the same.

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Engaging Superfans by Challenging Them

Dunkin’ Donuts┬áCEO Nigel Travis made the challenge into a family affair when his nine-year-old son volunteered to participate, too. What made their challenge more special, though, was the fact that Travis didn’t focus on challenging other brand CEOs. Instead, he called out individual Dunkin’ Donuts fans all across the country to participate. By doing that, he strengthened the connection between the brand and its fans, and brought the challenge back down to an individual and community level, reengaging and educating the average Joe about the challenge and the cause it supports.

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Getting the Whole Team Involved

Home Depot┬áCEO Frank Blake accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge, but rather than going it alone, he got his leadership team involved. Not only did it give the rest of Home Depot’s execs the opportunity to get involved, it also encouraged Home Depot stores across the country to participate and donate, thus encouraging people in their own neighborhoods and communities to do the same.

Wondering what lessons marketers can glean from the Ice Bucket Challenge? Learn more here.