Portent’s Ice Bucket Challenge: Spread the Wealth!

Ian Lurie Sep 10 2014

We got challenged! Some colleagues challenged Portent in the Ice Bucket challenge. Here’s the video:

We changed it up. Here’s why:

ALSA has now raised $111 million. That is freaking fantastic. It’s a great cause. 5,000-6,000 people are diagnosed with ALS each year, impacting tens of thousands of people. 30,000 or more Americans live with it at any one time.

But many of us at Portent have been affected by Parkinson’s – we have friends or family who have this awful syndrome. So, we donated $1,000 to Parkinson.org, instead. 50-60,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Syndrome each year.

So, we made a donation there.

About that water thing…

We also made a donation to charitywater.org, because we realized that the Ice Bucket Challenge has now consumed about 45 million gallons of water. I’m not kidding. Here’s the math:

Water wasted by the Ice Bucket Challenge

Water consumed by the Ice Bucket Challenge

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  1. Ian,

    I appreciate you calling attention to Charity Water. I also think it’s very important everyone realizes the real reason behind the ice bucket challenge, and what an impact it had. Have you thought of ways marketers can learn from this viral challenge in their own endeavors?


    • Hi Eric,

      I think the lesson is that a cause or message that taps into folks’ core values – their ‘why’ in Simon Sinek terms – will generally go wild. But it has to have a few additional things:

      – It has to tap competitive instinct (like walk-a-thons)
      – It has to involve reciprocity (someone else went to the effort, so I should return the favor)
      – A dare always helps :)


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