When the movement began, moustaches weren't a popular or fashionable idea… but that's what they became.
Since its birth, Movember has raised over $900 million for three huge causes – testicular cancer, prostate cancer and male mental health and suicide.
According to econsultancy.com, the movement's humble beginnings were in 2003, when four Melbourne men – along with 26 friends – decided to do something fun. At first, there was no major cause… just a bunch of guys deciding to do something silly.
When the movement began, moustaches weren't a popular or fashionable idea… but that's what they became. According to the Movember Global Marketing Director, Paul Mitcheson, this unpopularity is exactly how it morphed into something significant:
Although Movember became hugely popular throughout November, the movement also “became a bit like Fight Club” to its members and when it wasn’t November, members disappeared and weren’t spoken to again for another 11 months.
Mitcheson also claims that the early days of social media coincidentally came at just the right time for Movember, as they allowed people to share images of their fuzzy faces online.
The movement quickly became trendy and garnered a huge following, growing more members (more moustaches!) year on year.
A more modern shape
In 2016, Movember quickly moved beyond the boundaries of facial hair, and began making its marketing and approach more inclusive and far-reaching.
The movement started including women, introducing their “Move” concept, encouraging people to exercise in honour of the cause. They did so for two reasons:
- To raise awareness of Movember's causes through exercise and movement challenges;
- To help people with their mental health, as exercise can help to alleviate some symptoms of mental health issues.
The company also created a concept called ‘Host,' which allows members to organise fundraising events of any and all descriptions. Members can use this branch of the movement to raise money in their own unique ways.
Movember engages heavily with the public on both Facebook and Twitch, offering potential donors lots of different ways to donate and interact.
The charity also recently introduced a particularly imaginative idea: contactless badges for some of its most loyal members When these badges are tapped with a smartphone, they take the smartphone user directly to a donation page, allowing for quick and easy donations.
Mitcheson says that “it’s not quite Apple Pay at the moment”, pointing to the fact the badge only activates a donation page, meaning it’s not fully contactless but that’s “the next stage”.
And for a company that loves engaging and interacting in new and innovative ways, it's not hard to imagine that this ‘next stage' will come very soon.
The future of Movember
Movember stays committed to innovation and invention, and started teaming up with F1 in 2018. They hope to use F1's male-dominated audience to reach even more people.
They also recently created a 3-part documentary called ‘Man-Up'.
According to Mitcheson, the next step is to “embed in culture by creating media properties of our own”.
What that might look like remains to be seen, but it's clear that Movember is a growing movement that won't be slowing down any time soon.