The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a perfect example of content which has been significantly shaped by the audience. If it wasn’t for audience participation, this campaign would not have gone viral and people would not be as aware as they are now of ALS.
Part of what made the challenge successful was that it was so easy to do, and anyone with access to social media could take part, then nominate friends to do the same. This aspect of peer pressure also forced the campaign to spread because of the social expectations placed on a person when nominated – refusing to do the challenge would make you unkind and insensitive, because it also means you are refusing to do something for charity which could be set up, filmed, and shared in less than half an hour.
Another major reason for the success of this campaign is that it allowed for personalisation. This meant that all videos were slightly different – some people poured ice water over their head and others filled the bucket with just ice, and some did the challenge in their shower while others were on the beach. Because of this element of personalisation, there was also competition to do the best challenge, which increased engagement with the campaign.
Therefore, it is clear that audience participation significantly shaped the content of The Ice Bucket Challenge, which was not only important for the success of this campaign, but also in teaching marketers valuable lessons about what makes a social media campaign go viral.
If you enjoyed my post, take a look at these articles about The Ice Bucket Challenge, which are both engaging reads!