Every once in awhile, a charitable activity captures the attention of the media. It starts on social platforms like Twitter and Instagram, and eventually creeps its way into morning news and daytime talk shows. Eventually, the trend is picked up by evening outlets and major newspapers, and a promotional hit is born. Often, these coincide with good causes like last year's Ice Bucket Challenge to benefit sufferers of ALS. This month, the "Twizzler Challenge" has emerged to support New York Collaborates for Autism, a charity that raises awareness and invests resources in autism research.
To complete the challenge, two participants recreate the scene from Lady and the Tramp, by beginning to eat a Twizzler from either side and meeting in the middle for a kiss. So far, the Today Show and other press outlets have broadcast the challenge, which is sure to pick up more steam as celebrities become aware of it. However, in addition to being a positive touchstone for autism awareness, Twizzler candy is bound to benefit from this high volume of good press.
Time Magazine admits that while it has yet to go truly viral, it's possible that a match has been sparked.
"While the challenge hasn't gained traction yet, it should be noted that Matt Lauer was also ahead of the curve with the Ice Bucket Challenge," explains Laura Stampler. "He doused himself in cold water in mid-July, and it didn't gain true social media virality until mid-August."
Brands on the lookout for positive notices in earned media might consider partnering with a charity or nonprofit to devise a viral charitable campaign. In addition to raising funds and visibility for important causes, challenges like these can incentivize consumers to consider your product. With custom label printing, companies can take control of their marketing efforts and implement a strategy that reflects their corporate values.