The New ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ Is….The Wake Up Selfie!!

It was just a matter of time.

The Washington Post is reporting that after numerous attempts at copying the successful formula that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge created, one has come to the forefront, and it looks like the Wake Up Call is the new donation/entertainment mix.

After having gone through such unsuccessful attempts like the “Rice Bucket Challenge” (against hunger, in India) and a “Rubble Bucket Challenge” (on behalf of bomb victims in Gaza). The actor Orlando Jones attempted a “Bullet Bucket Challenge” to draw attention to Ferguson. Later, as the meme grew old — as memes invariably do — marketers began peddling less literal takes on the charitable social media stunt; the Camel Toe Challenge for cervical cancer awareness, the Taco Beer Challenge to raise money for an abortion-rights group and the Eat Pie for HI challenge to benefit kids who suffer from hyperinsulinism.

The Wake Up Call works as such; you wake up, take a selfie of yourself totally natural, then post and challenge three people to either do the same or donate five pounds (eight dollars American) to the UNICEF Syria Children’s Emergency Fund. Started by the UNICEF UK and begun by British journalist Jemima Khan, famous British personalities such as Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Clarkson, Nigella Lawson and others have taken their morning selfies and posted to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

The Business Insider is reporting that the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised over $95 million for the ALS Association, where the Wake Up Selfie doesn’t expect to be quite as viral as its predecessor.

Traffic on the tag has dropped precipitously since Hiddleston shared his selfie two days ago, and — per Twitter analytics tool Dataminr — the majority of the tweets have stayed confined to Britain. That’s not necessarily the campaign’s fault. The chances that anything will be “the next ice bucket challenge” are remote.

“Resist the pressure to mimic the Ice Bucket Challenge,” Nathaniel Ward, a fundraiser for the Heritage Foundation, wrote on his personal blog in August. “There’s no plan you can copy … [and] you can’t recreate the conditions for success.”

The new challenge is reminiscent of the #NoMakeUpSelfie challenge, which was also a huge viral hit in the UK and helped raise an £8 million ($12.8 million) windfall for Cancer Research UK.

Those conditions, one nonprofit expert told The Wall Street Journal, include a web of seasonal, subjective and otherwise serendipitous factors. It was summer, it was easy, “it touched people,” and it was fun. Later research suggested the hashtag was driven primarily by young, sporty men; a demographic most ALS fundraisers wouldn’t think to target.

A harsh reality, but it won’t stop people from trying.

[Image courtesy of Daily Mail]