Movember aims to rekindle emotional connection to the cause

Movember is changing marketing tack this year, bringing its focus back to its men’s health message as it looks to appeal to a wider audience and boost fundraising.

Writer Jack Dyson will appear on posters for Movember's campaign this year.
Writer Jack Dyson will appear on posters for Movember’s campaign this year.

An outdoor campaign to kick off the “Made In Movember” drive features writer Jack Dyson, who survived testicular cancer. He will also take part in “Ask Jack Anything” Q&A sessions on Twitter and Facebook to encourage people to talk about health issues.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Movember co-founder and creative director Travis Garone said the idea of using someone who has suffered from cancer in its marketing is a new one for the charity. It is hoped the move will help bring the focus of Movember back to the cause itself – raising awareness of men’s health and money for causes including prostate and testicular cancer.

Movember co-founder Travis Garone says: “Jack is new territory for us. We are coming back to reminding people of the importance of Movember. The fun element will not be lost but we are trying to remind people exactly why we are doing it.”

The shift in marketing comes after Garone admitted that some of the message behind the cause had become lost in recent years as Movember focused its message on having fun and driving changes in attitudes. Figures from social media monitors Precise last year showed that on social media 18% of conversations were related to fundraising and awareness, down from 27% in 2012.

Separate statistics from Meltwater show that so far this year that figure is back up to 30 per cent.

The amount raised by Movember in the UK also dropped in 2013, to £27.1m from £20.4m the previous year. Garone said that fall is not a worry as the charity expects people to drop in and out and says while there is a core audience that has been growing a moustache for 10 years, most years new sign-ups account for around 70 per cent of those taking part.

That is part of the reason it reinvents the brand every year to keep it “fresh and appealing” for people that have taken part before.

“Reinventing works for us. Growing moustaches year in year can be very tiresome and we want people to be doing this year in year out. It is nice to reinvent the campaign to keep it interesting. We don’t have headline acts that lure people back every year, we have to package Movember up in a way that entices people back,” he said.

In contrast to last year’s “Generation Mo” campaign, which Garone said appealed to a “very specific” genre, this year Movember is hoping to widen its appeal to people in “all walks of life”. It will initially “pay homage” to the local communities that have helped the charity become a global movement. Starting out in Australia in 2003, it is now popular in markets including the UK, US, South Africa and France.

The outdoor campaign will run in specific areas of large cities – including Shoreditch in London, Brooklyn in New York and Fitzroy in Melbourne – through a tie-up with Outdoor Plus. It will be supported through social media and digital activity, as well as local radio spots.

Brands will also play an important role in boosting awareness of Movember again. Alongside long-term partners which include Gillette, HP Sauce, Spitfire beer and Tom’s Shoes, the charity is also working with gaming brands including Sony’s Playstation and Football Manager as well as quintessentially British brands such as Brooks Saddles, Martial Amplification and Penhaligon’s.

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