Ice bucket challenge heated up Macmillan Cancer Support’s campaign - Brand Index

Stephan Shakespeare
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Mac­millan Cancer Support has benefited from the ice bucket challenge (Source: Getty Images)
With the hype over the ice bucket challenge seemingly cooling, we can analyse how successful the campaign has been in raising awareness of one of the charities concerned.

Although many believe that the challenge was for the ALS motor neurone disease charity, Mac­millan Cancer Support also benefited.

Macmillan recently topped YouGov’s mid-year charity rankings, so it is clear that it is already hugely popular. But has the recent campaign helped them further still?

According to YouGov’s Charity Index, the ice bucket challenge has proved successful in driving perceptions of Macmillan with the most revealing being the brand’s “Buzz Score”, which grew during the period of the challenge from 16.2 to 20.8, showing that the campaign worked.

However, its negative rating also increased, suggesting perhaps that some respondents heard unfavourable headlines or were unhappy with the association with ALS.

If we consider other YouGov metrics, we can further underline the impact of the craze. YouGov’s Charity Index’s WOM (Word of Mouth) metric illustrates whether a person has heard or discussed a charity with or from friends. During the time period, Mac­millan’s scores rose from 6.9 to 11.3.

And according to the Intent metric, which measures how likely a person is to donate, the intention rose from 12.0 to 13.1. While this is incremental, it suggests the hype will translate into more donations.

The lesson, therefore, is that viral campaigns can capture public imagination and promote greater fundraising. But the key is to do so without antagonising other charities and supporters of other causes.

Stephan Shakespeare is the chief executive of YouGov

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