The ALS #IceBucketChallenge and More on Why TD is Awesome

I was originally going to write a post about recent trade promotions that I saw at various retailers, but that will have to wait for a future post because I wanted to comment on something incredible that I’m sure everyone has noticed by now – the ALS #IceBucketChallenge that has gone viral. But more specifically and in light of my previous post, TD’s participation in this phenomenal cause:

The reasons for which this video struck a chord with me are twofold.

First and foremost, it highlights the successful launch of a creative social media campaign for a cause that previously received very little attention. While critics have blasted the campaign as narcissistic and disingenuous in actually showing philanthropic concern, it is difficult to argue with the results – the ALS Association has raised over $15.6 million within the past couple of weeks, which is nine times what it usually raises within the same time frame. What I find particularly intriguing is how the campaign essentially built a new fundraising model that at first glance would seem counter-intuitive and ineffective. That is, this idea that nominated individuals either donate or avoid doing so by taking the ice bucket challenge when normally, donations are made to encourage individuals to engage in some activity (running, skipping rope, shaving their heads, etc). Yet the model has worked well beyond what anyone could have imagined most likely because individuals have in fact taken the challenge and donated anyway, and also simply because the viral nature of the campaign has generated so much buzz among celebrities and peers alike.

Secondly, the video once again highlights why TD is such an inspirational organization. We know that high profile celebrities, athletes, and politicians have all participated in the cause in some way or another, but who would have thought that you could rally an entire 100-plus-year-old corporate organization with the CEO at its helm to participate in the cause? It’s obvious in the video that there is an extensive number of people involved in filming, and to see such senior executives move such a large team to action, taking time from their busy schedules to dump ice water on their heads on a hot afternoon on Bay Street, is truly impressive. To get the CEO and 50+ volunteers to respond to a viral campaign on such short notice is not something every organization can, or would even be willing, to do. But that’s what makes TD what it is. It knows how to adapt to the light-speed pace of such viral campaigns and it truly understands how brand building works in today’s world.

And of course, the variety of #IceBucketChallenge videos I’ve seen over the past few days have successfully inspired me to make my donation. Although I’m not sure if I could actually handle dumping ice water all over myself…


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