My Facebook feed is a lot cleaner these days without those ubiqutous ALS Ice Bucket Videos. Ok, maybe that's the wrong perspective. This do-good form of charitabe giving raised millions of dollars for a good cause. It was also the first video meme that I can remember that all age demographics wanted to particpate.
From a video making and marketing perspective, what is the takeaway from this social media phenomenon?
- Big media started it (the first challenges were on Golf Channel and the Today Show).*
- Narrative matters. Suspense played a role (How will this teenager/celebrity/grandmother handle being doused with bone chilling ice water?).
- Timing matters. The lazy days of summer were a perfect time for this idea to spread. Young people are around with not much to do.
- So, millenials followed.
- Celebrities followed.
- Exclusivity. The meme had an invitation-only "pass it on"aspect that was evocative of yesteryear's chain letter.
- Boomers followed.
- We can all make video that our circle can see. Every age group now knows how to shoot video on their phone and upload it to Facebook. This is a big one.
- Video quality was all over the map. Bill Gates' challenge had top notch production. My relatives in Suffern, NY operated a shaky cell phone with horrible audio. Bottom Line: Video quality doesn't matter when it's video about people you know and love.
- First time that I saw people embracing the hosting video function on Facebook as opposed to instinctually hosting on YouTube. I could see Facebook smilling ear to ear about this. Nothing would make them happier than to become the next YouTube.
My prediction: we haven't seen the last of these summer video memes for good causes. My guess is that the next one will have to be a notch more painful than ice water on a hot day.
Photo Credit: Kim Quintano CC Attribution 2.0 License