The Deconstructed Brief

ALS Mannequin Challenge

ALS Mannequin Challenge

Brand: Belgium's ALS Liga

AgencyPublicis Brussels 


  • Encourage people to donate to ALS research to find a cure by showing the effect it has on the body
  • Issue isn't top of mind for a few of reasons:
    • There are many disease/causes that are vying for the public's attention (and money)
    • Many haven't heard of ALS 
    • Of those who have, many are unaware of what ALS actually is and how it affects the body
  • The conventional soft approach (and even the lecture approach) has become expected and ultimately tuned out of social conversation

Lessons to be learned:

  • Act on trends in real time. Keeping up with and speaking the language of the rest of the world around you will keep you relevant and part of the conversation.
  • Hijack social media crazes, but in an impactful way. Many other brands had created their own Mannequin challenge videos, but became just another video and forgettable. Take a stand. Make your audience stop in their tracks, don't just do it because everyone else is. Otherwise, you'll be forgotten too.
  • Soft, feel good messaging has it's place, but watch out for the line of "tired and boring" which remains uninspiring and forgotten
  • Advertising can't and shouldn't always be cookie cutter. Be real. Put things in terms your audience will understand.


"Everyday is a Mannequin Challenge for ALS patients"

It's all fun and games until it's not just a new challenge anymore, it's your permanent condition.

One Thought:

ALS is a permanent social challenge.

What they told AdWeek:

"With the Ice Bucket Challenge, the ALS Association more or less sparked the flame on its own. It's since kicked off a 2016 Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money on an ongoing basis. But ALS Liga isn't so much starting a trend as following one—something that was expected, since the ALS Association was so instrumental in the last one. 

But Publicis isn't worried about whether this small drop in a bigger viral bucket will top the last. For them, the key is reminding people to keep contributing."