Nationwide Survey Shows: Nine Out of 10 Online Americans Aware of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, One out of 10 Took the Challenge

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A recent online survey of 1,204 online Americans conducted by Polaris Marketing Research revealed that nine out of 10 participants were aware of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, one out of ten took the Challenge. Just as many Americans became aware of the Challenge due to traditional news sources (television, new articles) as through social media, and the overwhelmingly through Facebook.

Aware of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Nine Out of 10 Online Americans Aware of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Our nationwide survey showed awareness of the Ice Bucket Challenge is not just a social media phenomena. It comes just as much from traditional sources like television and news articles as it does from social media, and then overwhelmingly from Facebook.

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Polaris Marketing Research Inc. announced today findings from its latest national survey of online Americans, supported by Research Now for data collection: This survey found nine out of 10 respondents were aware of the ALS Association's Ice Bucket Challenge and one in 10 of those aware of it had actually participated in the Challenge.

Every one of the online survey respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 had heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge and 96 percent of respondents between the age of 25 and 34 were aware of it; both levels were significantly higher than the average of 91 percent.

A total of 1,204 online Americans were surveyed between August 25, 2014 and August 26, 2014. The margin of error for this sample size is no greater than +/- 2.8 percent.

Very few people had heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge via YouTube, Twitter or Instagram (5%); most had heard of it through Facebook (44%) or television (35%). More women had heard it of through Facebook (52% vs. 34% men) while men heard of it via television (42% vs. 29% women). Young people heard of it via Facebook (77% 18-24, 68% 25-34) while older people learned of it from television (48% 50-64, 59% 65+).

“The reach of this event is phenomenal and not likely to be repeated,” said Jan Carlson, president of Polaris Marketing Research. “And it’s not totally due to going viral in social media. While Facebook played a big part in building awareness of the Challenge, other social media sites like Twitter, Instagram and YouTube were hardly a factor, But traditional news sources like television and news articles had just as strong a role in building awareness as social media, particularly among men and people over 50.”

Eleven percent (n=124) of those familiar with the Challenge had actually taken the Ice Bucket Challenge. Of those that took the Challenge, 91 percent nominated someone else to take it and they nominated an average of 3.4 other people.

Thirteen percent of those familiar with the Challenge (11 percent of all respondents) had actually donated money to the ALS Association due to the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Eighty percent of those familiar with the Challenge said they were aware of the disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease, before they had heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge.

A quarter of the respondents were happy the Challenge had raised money and enjoyed watching the videos (25%), another quarter were happy it raised money but were tired of it (24%) and 23 percent thought the Challenge had been a good strategy for the ALS Association. Thirteen percent thought it was silly and people should just donate money if they wanted to.

About Polaris Marketing Research

Founded by Jan Carlson, Polaris Marketing Research is a full-service firm that provides state-of-the-art online interactive marketing research reporting, interviewing and data collection, quantitative and qualitative research expertise and personalized project management. Atlanta-based Polaris Marketing Research is affiliated with the Council of American Survey Research Organizations, the American Marketing Association and the American Society for Quality. Visit to learn more.

About Research Now

Research Now is the leading global online sampling and online data collection company. With over 6 million panelists in 38 countries worldwide, Research Now enables companies to listen to and interact with real consumers and business decision makers in order to make key business decisions. Research Now offers a full suite of data collection services, including social media sampling, and operates the Valued Opinions™ Panel and e-Rewards® Opinion Panels. The company has a multilingual staff located in 24 offices around the globe and has been recognized for four consecutive years as the industry leader in client satisfaction. Visit to learn more.

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