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The Movember Movement: Move Over Man-Dated Giving

Just a week or two ago our CEO walked into a customer’s lobby flanked by several other members of our executive leadership team – all sporting fledgling mustaches. The receptionist took one look at the lot of them and smiled, “Movember, huh?”

During November each year, men across the globe begin growing a mustache, or a “Mo” as it is known in the Movember vernacular, in an effort to raise awareness and funds for men's health issues – specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.

A First Movement

I first became aware of Movember in 2007 when popular Twitter friends & personas (men and women) began getting involved – sporting mustaches on their profile pics, posting blog and micro-blog support, and punctuating it all with #movember hash-tags.

I’ve witnessed first-hand Movember’s move from early obscurity to hip prominence in foundational fundraising circles. Unlike corporate drives of old, Movember’s annual campaign does not rely on heavy-handed and largely coercive tactics to sustain those coveted year-end giving needs. Instead, Movember deploys a far more powerful suite of motivational triggers revolving around engagement and user/donor-centricity.

Trimmed with levity, a deftly-crafted brand look and feel, and keen sponsorship alignments, Movember’s become an archetype of how to leverage an integrated campaign across online and offline social network spaces to spur annual giving.

Mo Organic, Inclusive

In the world of Movember corporate mandated pressure to support charitable organizations via automatic payroll deductions is supplanted by good-humored peer-pressure, organic & spontaneous distribution and, well, fun.

Hirsute upper lips transform men into walking Movember billboards – ever-present, smile-inspiring reminders that November has been rent from the calendar and commandeered each year into the service of the Movember-ians. Perhaps most importantly men and women alike are spontaneously converted into happy and willing Movember WOM (Word of Mouth) brand ambassadors and advocates – the ultimate UGC (user-generated content) campaign construct.

Bustin’ a Move

Consider how a user-centric focused lens might add real revenue and brand value to your next marketing effort. As of this posting, Movember 2012 campaign receipts total over USD $75MM – and counting. Not bad.

For more information about Movember visit them, here. To follow Team Merkle Mo, click here.

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