The latest cause marketing trend to catch wind may not have the same level of brand and celeb notoriety as big charity players like Livestrong, the Susan G Komen Foundation, or UNICEF. But, Movember, the only month when facial hair is this season's hottest and most popular accessory, is growing (pun intended) and becoming an iconic symbol of awareness all by itself..
On November 1st, men everywhere (literally, it's global) committed to become walking billboards for the month-long men's health initiative. More specifically, men will grow a mustache for the month of November, all while collecting donations and raising awareness for prostate cancer and men's mental health. The idea was originated in a Melbourne, Australia pub some 8 years ago'leave it to Australian men to kick start the most rugged cause campaign to date. Only recently has it picked up serious speed; in 2011 854,000 mustache growers raised $126.3 million dollars worldwide!
There are several contributing factors to Movember's recent surge of popularity. For example, men's health is known for being low on the charity totem pole. Currently, women's health is the number one supported charitable cause, bringing in the most green and raising the most brows. After a month of wearing pink to support breast cancer, it's no surprise men are jumping at the opportunity to support their own health and well-being too. Marketing professionals have a different take on the recent growth of Movember's fuzz (err, buzz). The equation looks a little something like this:
Company^2+Fun Trend*Ancillary Perks=Engagement^3
In other words, more companies than ever are beginning to realize why the Movember campaign is a pretty awesome way to get involved while on the job. Apart from the primary goals (raising awareness, donating to charity, rocking a mustache), there are many ancillary benefits of participation that, particularly for companies, have put-your-razor-down appeal. Let's take a look..
- Positive Light. Similar to celebrities and name brands who hop behind well-known charities looking for an image boost, companies who support cause efforts can benefit from the same effect. Anytime a company puts time, effort, and resources towards unselfish giving, the company promotes positive brand health. This newsworthy behavior will land your brand name in print, increasing awareness and splashing your brand out there for the world to see.
- Togetherness. What better way to spend time together than taking weekly update pictures and checking in on stache shape development? Don't worry, there is plenty involvement available for the ladies as well. For this, I suggest getting creative. In an effort not to divulge too much highly secretive internal information, all I will say is that our ladies are participating in forms of donations, PR, sista stache's, and in only the most involved situations'?¦ grooming.
- Company Goals. Most corporations have their own internal goals to support charitable initiatives. In the past, this has often been accomplished through participating in walks or donating used goods. While both are great methods of giving, they don't necessarily engage and unify employees to the same extent as an experience like Movember. While banter-worthy mustache growth brings people together, it also raises money to support a very serious cause and gets people to start thinking about their own health.
- Fun at Work. Mustaches are fun, the pictures are even better. There are an infinite amount of accompanying toys, office supplies, and accessories that make Movember mo' enjoyable for everyone. Personally, I suggest checking out www.Beerstache.com for appropriate beverage props, complete with branding options. Perfect for celebrating your good deed and upcoming holiday parties! (Warning: Movember has a habit of creating the perfect storm of party excuses
- Positive Environment. Anytime you support charity, it feels good. Competing as a team for the sake of charity? That feels even better! Coming together for the sake of friendly "network" competition promotes happiness and teamwork, both which combine to create the optimal work environment for your employees. Movember can make your workplace a better place to be. Enough said.
Here at AMP, we are definitely taking Movember to new evil heights. Dubbed the Evil AMPire, we are crushing our participation and donation numbers from last year, and even holding our own in the competition polls. So far, with only 78 team members, the Evil AMPire has raised $9,077.00 and currently ranked #105 out of 14345 teams nationwide. More importantly, we are ranked #2 in Boston and dominating the 2012 Boston Agency network to boot! If you think the perks and excitement of Movember sound like something your workplace could benefit from, have no fear. Not only will it happen again in 11 months, but there are also many other upcoming cause marketing opportunities that are worth checking out. Here are a few local and national options that could make your work days just as joyful as mustache growth have made mine.
Last but not least, head over to www.Movember.com to learn more about men's health, how many teams the Evil AMPire is crushing (#StacheWars), and how you can still get in on the action!