— Will Arnett™ (@arnettwill) August 28, 2014
Online activism has gotten an ice cold shot in the arm with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which has raised more than $100 million to date. As predicted, other causes are seeking to achieve this unbelievable level of viral action (Hot Soup Challenge?). Celebs continue to participate with these online efforts as well, which only adds to a campaign’s ability to rise to the top.
Of course, pics of celebrities grabbing their crotch in the name of charity would get some attention. Welcome to #FeelingNuts, the new campaign to raise awareness about testicular cancer.
There are many takeaways from the Ice Bucket Challenge, among them: make a “challenge” easy enough for a lot of people to do; make it fun and funny; and don’t forget the ask. #FeelingNuts is definitely taking cues on the first two.
One problem it has, however, is that it can come off as a little crass. While most people are OK with having water dumped on their head, a crotch grab might be a little much. What was amazing about the Ice Bucket Challenge was the way it managed to pull everyone in, from a ton of CEOs to children, celebrities, and everyone in between. The nuts move isn’t something that you’re likely to see Bill Gates doing.
Another problem, the ask isn’t as apparent. The Ice Bucket Challenge put the donation front and center. *Check One Two is an “awareness movement,” not a fundraising organization, so bringing in donations isn’t its first objective. “We’re about empowering men and saving lives,” the organization wrote to me in a tweet. Still, raising awareness about where one can donate money or do something more than post a photo to further that goal would be a valuable use of a viral campaign. As you can see from the Will Arnett post above, not only did he not use the hashtag, there’s no mention of giving money, where to give or anything else after viewing the picture.
There’s no doubt that this is a good cause. Like so many others, it deserves a deeper understanding and greater awareness and education. But fashioning a campaign that even comes close to the Ice Bucket phenomenon is going to require some thought. And perhaps even a little time. We’re all coming off of one philanthropic effort so we might collectively need to take a breath before we jump into another.
And here are a few takeaways from the Ice Bucket Challenge for those looking to launch their own version.
*Previously, the post didn’t make clear that Check One Two isn’t a fundraising campaign, but rather an awareness campaign. We apologize for the error.