Tear-jerking story behind the Ice Bucket Challenge


I didn’t want the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to come my way. But it did. Then I found this story. The story of the person with ALS who started it all. Warning, this video will wreck you.

I love this story of former Boston College captain Pete Frates, who has inspired the Ice Bucket Challenge. I did accept the ALS challenge and passed it on to a few close friends. But, I added a critical element I believe strongly in. I have a few friends who devote their lives to making sure people around the world have safe drinking water, so wasting a bucket of good water, even for a good cause, didn’t sit well with me. So, in addition to giving to ALSA.org I’ll be giving to TeamWorldVision and challenge you to do the same.

Not to devalue the cause, but the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a marketing phenomenon and all marketing teams can pick up a few great points from the campaign that has brought in millions of dollars to the ALS organization for research to cure the disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”.
If you’re putting a viral marketing campaign together for fundraising or product awareness, take note of these elements that make the ALS campaign great.
1. Be Authentic. This campaign started from a heartfelt story for change. Give participants in your campaign a relevant and real connection to your cause.
2. Give a tangible challenge. Simply challenging someone to donate to ALSA.org isn’t enough for a killer campaign. Challenging someone to do something tangible, has a strong effect, and putting an 24 hour time limit on it drives it forward.
3. Empower people. Give permission for people to own your campaign. The ALS #IceBucketChallenge is a sensational success because not only does it asks for me to do something short and fun, but it also asks that I grow the event 3 fold by challenging 3 of my close friends. The peer pressure is incredible but it’s healthy here.

You won’t duplicate this campaign. Find your own voice and your own story to share. Authentic campaigns need to revolve around your story.

Princeton High School, Cincinnati Ohio


My mom graduated from Princeton high school in 1972. Little did she know then my brother would someday be the district principal at that same high school. I’m extremely proud of my brother and the entire staff at Princeton high school for all the work they do to pour into and change the lives of kids every day.

Morgan Freeman’s take


I like Morgan Freeman. He knocks it out of the park in his movies.
Now, he knocks it out of the park in his response to the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary that happened yesterday in Newtown, Connecticut. Still just hours after the worst mass murder in American history, the nation is hurting and mourning with all the families affected. Thanks for this response, Morgan Freeman.
Follow him on twitter @TheRealMorganF

Morgan Freeman Mass Killing Comments

Here is what he had to say,

You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here’s why.

It’s because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine? Disturbed
people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN’s article says that if the body count “holds up”, this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I’ve seen yet. Because they don’t sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man’s name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news.”

I am choosing to remember, Emilie Parker. This face, this child, this name.

There has been a Facebook page set up to raise funds for her family.

While the music is being played


Expectations can be tough. I love this video talking about the ride of life and that we need to enjoy the journey. Finding out what you love to do with your time is a rare thing for people, mostly because we’ve been conditioned to get to the end. My brother is an educator and talking to him about the expectations we put on ourselves from the start of being educated is quite the funny thing.

Mattofact: It is a musical thing. If you have expectations on you, make sure they are your own.

Arrive Ready – School is in session


School is back in session and the school-swayed marketing campaigns are running in full force. this co-brand push from Nike and Foot Locker gives kids a new look at educators… and educators that are tough. I think the campaign managers understand that kids want to have structure, kids want to be excellent, kids don’t mind hard work, and kids understand the importance of winning. I don’t mean winning at  a pick-up game of whatever… but winning at life. My favorite line comes after a sniff…”has someone been eating humus?”. Hilarious, but well mixed into the heavy campaign.