08/21/2014 05:06 pm ET Updated Oct 21, 2014

It Was Television That Fired Up the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge


What does my brother-in-law have in common with Oprah Winfrey? Or my junior high school friends have in common with Robert Downey, Jr.? They all took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. In my opinion, the most naturally genius use of publicity, Facebook, celebrity endorsement (free, mind ya') and television -- all for a good cause! According to Sunday's New York Times, the ALS Association had garnered over $13.3 million dollars in donations since the end of July. It's funny that the viral video caught on like wild fire when it's so ice cold, yet over 1.2 million videos have been posted on Facebook since June 1st. On July 15th, golfer Greg Norman poured ice water over Today Show host Matt Lauer's head on live television. The moment it hit TV was a turning point in the stunt, which was simply an ice bucket for charity challenge. During that challenge, Matt Lauer committed a donation to the Hospice of Palm Beach County nominating three other high profile celebrities. After that television appearance, two and half weeks ago, a 29-year-old former college baseball player with ALS decided to positively claim the challenge as an ALS campaign. What I love about this story is that a match strikes and sets off a bonfire of publicity. It comes from the heart and from people, and the alchemical mix of the internet, ordinary people, celebrities, Facebook and TV made it work.