What Drives Us To Donate

ice bucket challenge, julia estacolchic, dieste, social tv



By: Julia Estacolchic, Group Account Director, @coloargentina | Aug. 28, 2014

While we are all very happy with the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge campaign and the fantastic cause it supports, a comparison between where donations go to vs. cause of deaths shows striking discrepancy.

How much does scale matters when we select the cause we support? The number of people affected by a disease in your own country, and globally, should certainly play a role. But so do other factors some of which are, many times, emotional rather than rational. Our values and whether or not we have a relative or a loved one who’s been touched by an illness makes us jump on one specific cause vs. another. And so do those campaigns that provide entertainment value through the endorsement and participation of hundreds of celebrities and thousands of people.

Just as with commercial marketing, the communication efforts around a particular campaign or product are more likely to generate consumer response when the cause is, in one way to another, close to our hearts. We, as marketers, should see the results of the IBC for ALS as another confirmation of what we have known for a while: emotion doesn’t just bring tears or smiles. Emotion determines how much attention we pay and how much we remember. But, most importantly, emotion provokes action.