If I have one more person tell me, “I need a business idea as popular as this ice bucket thing” it will probably kill me. Sorry, but, this sort of thing only works for charities. You can’t challenge people to download your “10 Great Sales Tips” or dump ice water on their heads. It’s just not fun enough. Here’s what I learned from ALS’s success.

Their strategy had a few good things working for them.

1) Short videos are powerful. While I’m not the type to watch the video (I scroll down for the transcript) short videos are more likely to go viral than long ones. Watching your friends and favorite celebrities dump ice on their heads for 30 seconds is pretty funny and won’t take much time. This is something you can watch muted on your cell phone and still get a kick out of their facial expressions.

2) It’s fun. Did you get challenged by your friends or colleagues? It’s both heartbreaking and fun getting your name read aloud on video as the next challenge. If you decide to do the challenge you can nominate others. Nothing’s funnier than nominating your boss!

3) Celebrities joined in. All it took was one celebrity challenging his friends before this became a name-dropping extravaganza. Celebrities love this stuff and any excuse to name-drop is usually within their happy place.

4) Summer time. If this started in October I think it would have been a lot harder getting people to participate.

5) For a good cause. It’s really the only reason this became so huge. If this was a Pepsi-cola challenge we’d be over it by now. Because this is actually helping a worthy charity, it’ll probably go on until the weather changes.

 Can this model be used in commercial real estate marketing?  …I honestly don’t see how it could. However, anything is possible. I believe this model took off so successfully because it was for a charitable cause. I’m not so sure this will work in a for-profit scenario. I’m open to any ideas!