Navigating Viral Trends & Your Brand | The Ice Bucket Challenge

August 26, 2014 By Caitlin Sellers

Caitlin Sellers | Navigating Viral Trends

You know what the Ice Bucket Challenge is. Everyone knows what it is. If you haven’t been nominated, you’re probably waiting for someone to challenge you.


Caitlin Sellers | Navigating Viral Trends guys gonna challenge me or what?


So, if you’ve been living under a rock, welcome. Once someone is challenged via social media they have 24 hours to film themselves dumping a bucket of ice water on their head and then donate $10 to a charity (most commonly for ALS research). If a full day goes by without an ice-cold shower the participant is required to donate $100 dollars.

Caitlin Sellers | Navigating Viral Trends

The Ice Bucket challenge has spawned hundreds of celebrity cameos from Anne Hathaway to Charlie Sheen. However, there is controversy.

Caitlin Sellers | Navigating Viral Trends


President Obama donated money, but turned down the video challenge. Totally understandable. You can definitely see how it would take away from his professional image as Commander In Chief. Pamela Anderson said she’s not participating because she believes ALS Research requires animal testing.

Some critics have called the challenge vapid, simply an excuse to film yourself doing something fun to give the online impression you are a charitable human being. Proponents argue the viral stunt comes from a wholesome place. Since the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral The ALS Foundation has raised more than $50M for underfunded Lou Gehrig’s disease research.

Caitlin Sellers | Navigating Viral Trends

The decision to be a part of a viral challenge like the Ice Bucket Challenge can be tricky. Public opinion can change quickly. It’s important to be completely aware of the purpose and background of a social media video. At the end of the day its your face and your voice on the internet. If it’s for a good cause, great - just be sure it’s the message you want to send not just a fad to stick your name down.

Life Local Marketing Professional

Caitlin Sellers

Business growth is Caitlin’s focus, people is her passion and digital marketing is her niche. She enjoys advising professionals and businesses about digital marketing and providing inbound marketing strategy and services. Additionally, Caitlin's the energetic community organizer for Local Levo Charlotte in which she provide s the opportunity to elevate women's careers.