Movember moves beyond the moustache as it looks to widen appeal

Movember is introducing a ‘Move’ initiative to its annual campaign this year as it looks to expand beyond growing moustaches in a bid to attract more supporters and talk up the breadth of its work as it moves from a cancer charity to one that supports the wider issue of men’s health.

Move challenges people to a commit to some form of physical activity every day for the month of November. Supported by an integrated campaign designed by MATTA, it will run alongside the usual moustache-growing activities and encourage supporters to raise money and awareness of the cause.

Paul Mitcheson, head of UK marketing comms at Movember, told Marketing Week that the idea came about because while the moustache element has been hugely successful, there was no tangible offering for women or for people that either didn’t want to or were not able to grow a moustache.

“This is the first time people have been able to make a commitment to Movember by doing something other than growing a moustache. Growing a moustache is not for everyone – it is a big commitment to change your appearance and this opens up new avenues for us.

“Move is an interesting challenge to position to people because it is a big commitment. But lack of movement is one of the biggest killers of men out there which makes it innate to our cause.

“[Move] gives us an opportunity to work and collaborate with different audiences and brands as well.”

Paul Mitcheson, head of UK marketing comms, Movember

Move also fits in with Movember’s expanded remit, which has seen it take up the cause of men’s health in general, rather than just raising money for prostate cancer. The charity says regular exercise can help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer up to 50%, making encouraging activity a perfect way to champion men’s health.

“The Movember foundation has evolved and matured over the last five years or so. We are best known for our work in prostate cancer but we have increased our remit to testicular cancer and men’s health and we want to get that across.

“Move helps people reassess what Movember stands for and the work we are doing. We hope they look at us with fresh eyes and see we are all about men’s health,” said Mitcheson.

Movember will be hoping it can rekindle interest in the movement following a slowdown in donations in the UK. Its most recent figures show that the charity raised £11.7m last year, below the £20.4m it raised in 2013. Nevertheless it has still raised more than £400m since it was founded in 2003.

Brand collaborations

Movember has always worked with brands and past sponsors including HP and PlayStation are back for this year. However the new initiative also opens up new possibilities for the charity.

For example it is working with Speedo, which has built an area in its app that encourages people to swim circuits in the shape of a moustache and is encouraging its ambassadors including Carrie-Anne Payne to get involved.

Santander has also come on board this year and will use its real estate to promote Movember, although details are under wraps.

The changing face of Movember

Movember has typically changed its marketing campaign and creative every year to keep its image fresh. This year the tagline will be ‘Move or Mo’ to showcase the two ways of getting involved.

However Mitcheson admits Movember needs to lock down a consistent look and feel for the charity. While its annual marketing will change, it has now “locked down” a consistent look and feel for the Movember Foundation.

“Every year our campaign focus has been on different themes. We have had a consistent tone of voice and values but we have jumped around visually,” he said.

“Going forward we wanted to be very careful to introduce an evergreen brand that highlights that our work goes on all year round.”

  • Branding is one of the key themes of this year’s Festival of Marketing. To find out more details and book tickets visit 



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