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Data Analysis Examines Effectiveness Of The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge One Year Later

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge raised more than $220 million for the ALS Association, more than 12 times what the organization had raised the previous year, but the influx of donations and massive awareness received during last summer’s Ice Bucket Challenge will be challenging to maintain, according to a data analysis released today by consumer healthcare insights organization, Treato.  A survey of more than 500 users reveled that only 14 percent of participants indicated that they are very likely to donate again this year; however, 50 percent indicated that they are somewhat likely to give again, indicating that with proper outreach, the ALS Association could maintain strong momentum. 

Keeping up the awareness momentum will also prove challenging for the ALS Association as 43 percent of participants felt they were no more familiar with ALS after the Ice Bucket Challenge last summer; however when narrowed down to those who actually participated in the challenge, awareness of ALS rose three times higher concluding that direct participation leads to increased awareness.

In addition to the survey, Treato compiled and analyzed more than 254,000 online conversations about ALS discussing awareness, drugs and a cure, discovering ALS discussions grew close to six times normal activity last summer.  Specifically, online conversations about ALS and a cure peaked the same time as the Ice Bucket Challenge demonstrating the effectiveness of the campaign.  

When asked about how the funds raised for the ALS Association should be spent, 63 percent of survey participants felt the most important way to spend the funds is on finding a cure for the disease including drug research where as 16 percent felt the funds should be used for financial support for those living with the disease, 13 percent felt the funds should be used on educational support and 8 percent felt the funds should be used on public policy advocacy efforts.

Additional Treato findings include:

  • Engagement didn’t guarantee donation: 23 percent of survey participants who reported participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge did not donate to the Association
  • Participation drove awareness: 29 percent of survey participants who reported participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge said they had never heard of or were not very familiar with ALS before participating
  • Hollywood also drove disease awareness: online mentions of ALS and Stephen Hawking were three times higher than average during last year’s Oscar season in which The Theory of Everything, the Stephen Hawking biopic, won best actor
  • Generics are on the rise: discussions about Riluzole, the generic of Rilutek, which is a drug used to reduce the symptoms of ALS, has doubled in conversations over the past five years

“Breaking through online health conversations allows us to understand the performance and effectiveness of marketing,”  says Ido Hadari, CEO of Treato.  “The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge proved to be an effective campaign not only terms of immediate money raising, which is relatively easy to measure, but also in terms of awareness creation, consumer engagement and building long-term disease and organization advocates.”

Find more information on Treato’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge data analysis by viewing the Infographic

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Allyson Noonan Media Relations Manager, Treato
Allyson Noonan Media Relations Manager, Treato
About Treato

Treato™, the leading source of health insights from millions of real health consumers, uses patented analytics and big data technology to turn billions of disparate online conversations into meaningful social intelligence. With more than two billion posts analyzed and continuously expanding, Treato has partnered with 9 out of the world's top 10 pharma companies as well as numerous other multi-national pharmaceutical companies and healthcare organizations., its consumer website, helps millions of visitors each month. Treato is privately held with offices in Israel, New York and Princeton, NJ. Investors include Reed Elsevier Ventures, OrbiMed Partners and New Leaf Venture Partners, among others.

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