Let’s face it, nothing grabs internet attention quite like a social media challenge. While some organizations use challenges to promote a good cause such as the ALS Ice Bucket challenge, others are more lighthearted such as Drake’s “In My Feelings” Challenge. Unfortunately, there are also times when social media challenges become dangerous, for instance, the Tide pod challenge. Let’s take a look at how these challenges became viral sensations:
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Just a few years ago, the #IceBucketChallenge became a global phenomenon. The challenge was designed to raise money for research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and/or dump a bucket of ice cold water on their heads. Of all the viral sensations, this has been the most meaningful. Supporters ended up raising over $115 million for the ALS Association and even helped scientists discover a new gene tied to the disease.
Drake’s “In My Feelings” Challenge
The current challenge taking the internet by storm is all thanks to social media influencer Shiggy who created a dance to Drake’s song “In My Feelings”. After the New York Giants’ wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr., hopped out of a car to show off his Shiggy-inspired dances moves, a dangerous new trend was born. Now, attention-seekers are jumping out of moving cars to show their #InMyFeelings dance moves. The National Transportation Safety Board recently tweeted a stern warning to those participating in this viral challenge.
Tide Pod Challenge
The #TideChallenge was originally a part of Tide’s marketing campaign which challenged people to remove tough stains with their liquid laundry detergent. Shockingly, the challenge soon became synonymous with teenagers daring each other to eat Tide pods. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission quickly issued a warning stating that although the capsules are colorful, squishy and smell good – they are “highly concentrated, toxic detergent” that can cause harm. Tide also released a public service announcement featuring the New England Patriots’ tight end, Rob Gronkowski, in efforts to discourage people from eating Tide pods.
Brands looking to jump on the social media challenge bandwagon should first take into consideration who their target audience is, while keeping their main goal(s) in mind. Generating buzz on social media could be just the thing your brand needs to gain more exposure, but it must be monitored carefully and consistently to be sure it does not garner any negative attention.
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