Brands play key role in Movember marketing

Brand partnerships are playing a larger role than ever in raising awareness of anti-cancer initiative Movember, which launches today (1 November).

HP Movember bottle
Heinz brand HP is again providing in-kind support for Movember.

In-kind marketing support has helped the initiative, which encourages men to grow a moustache during November to raise funds for men’s health charities, enjoy a rapid rise in participation since in launched in 2004.

Brands taking part this year, however, have provided more visible marketing support than ever before.

Its partnership with Gillette, for example, has meant more mainstream advertising visibility and a “huge reach” that the organisation would ever be able to achieve alone, according to Hywel Mills, partnership manager for Movember UK.

The partnership with Heinz HP sauce, which includes a packaging makeover in support of the initiative, gives the charity a “disruptive” everyday presence in people’s homes, she adds.

Partner charity Prostate Cancer UK and beneficiary of funds raised is to leverage its corporate partnerships with the Football League’s 72 clubs and Royal Mail’s 150,000 postal workers to build awareness of Movember in the month.

The initiative, which began as a fundraising initiative in Australia in 2004, and has now grown to a global organisation that raised £79m last year – has captured consumers’ attention, particularly traditionally hard to engage young men, in a way that many other charities would be envious of.

More than 150,000 men have already registered to participate and it expects to raise “significantly” more for Prostate Cancer UK and The Institute of Cance Research this year than the £22.3m donations it raised in the UK last year.

Mills says the success of the initiative is down to partnering with “likeminded, passionate” brands and creating a fun community movement that people want to be a part of.

He adds: “Movember is about having fun for 30 days at the same time as raising money for a serious cause. People get involved for very different reasons, whether it’s to see what they look like with a moustache, or as a team to be competitive or because of a personal story, we know that men and Mo Bros enjoy Movember and that’s the most important thing.”

“In terms of where we want to be, and what we’re moving towards, we’ll continue to work with passionate and likeminded brands – it’s at the heart of what we do. We also want to work with brands to give something back to our supporters through competitions of experience.

He adds that working with brands is not just a way to raise awareness, but also “give something back to supporters”.

Movember uses partners to fulfil two aims. Firstly to raise awareness of the initiative, and secondly to make sure that it can “give something back” to supporters taking part.

What the brand partners are doing:


P&G’s Gillette brand has partnered with Movember for the first time this year. In support of the partnership the brand launched a retro-style print campaign including a cover rap on free daily Metro. Gillette has also opened a retro style barbers in London’s Carnaby Street offering professional shaves and grooming to men taking part as well as a “gentleman’s club” with a bar, games and entertainment.

HP Sauce

HP Sauce is launching a limited edition label featuring a moustachioed man to celebrate its second year of support for the Movember initiatives. It will also run a Facebook campaign designed to encourage ‘Mo Bros’ in their moustache growing. HP will also host bacon sandwich sampling in-stores.

The Guardian

Is creating a Blippar augmented reality app that allows members of its Guardian Media Network to ’try on’ moustaches before they grow them.

Marshall Amps

Marshall is inviting Mo Bros to design a moustache inspired amp as part of a competition.

Byron Restaurants

Byron raised more than £60,000 last year and aims to recognise men that are participating and “treat them like a king” with added benefits to reward them for being part of the community, according to Mills.


British Airways Visit Britain

VisitBritain and BA unveil tourism push

Russell Parsons

VisitBritain has launched its latest bid to exploit interest in Britain following the successful hosting of the London 2012 Olympic Games this summer with a multi-million marketing campaign in partnership with British Airways targeting travellers in emerging markets India and China.


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