It's that time of year when men all over the world decide that
they would look really good with a moustache. Yes, it's Movember,
and even if you hate the fact that the man in your life is sporting
a moustache take heart in knowing that it truly is for a good
The Movember campaign is sponsored by the Movember Foundation,
which "is the leading global organization committed to changing the
face of men's health." The campaign began in 2003 in Australia to
raise awareness of prostate and testicular cancers, and the
foundation now runs official campaigns every November in 21
In case you're unaware, here's the skinny on Movember. For the
month of November, participants shave their facial hair at the
start of the month and then "donate their face" until November 30.
Participants register on the Movember Foundation website. During
the month, those who are participating in the campaign "become
walking, talking billboards," and help start important discussions
about men's health. Often taking a back seat to other causes, men's
health rises to the forefront during November, but it's important
that awareness and education is year-round. According to the
National Cancer Institute, prostate cancer is one of the most
common cancer types in the United States, with an estimated 233,000
new cases this year, which accounts for 14 percent of all new cases
of cancer. The need for men's health campaigns is clear.
But does Movember work?
According to the foundation's website, the answer is a
resounding "yes." The Movember community has raised $559
million to date and funded more than 800 programs. But more than
that, the campaign does truly seem to be raising awareness of men's
health issues that are not discussed as openly or as often as other
issues, such as breast cancer.
The key to Movember's success lies in the power of social
interaction (both actual in-person social interactions and, of
course, social media). One of the
rules of Movember is that if someone asks you why you are
growing a moustache, you tell them that it's to raise awareness of
men's health issues. There, you're done! Mission accomplished.
You've raised even a small amount of awareness for that person, who
will then hopefully share that information or engage in a
conversation with someone else.
The beauty of the campaign is that it is easy enough to
participate and it's inexpensive to run. Like many campaigns in
today's environment of overstimulation, success is dependent on
being able to break through all the noise that's already out there.
To accomplish that task, your campaign needs people-people who can
help make your message go viral.
The Movember campaign has viral followings on several social
media platforms, including
Facebook, and an
engaging community on its website. The key to
creating a viral campaign is to not aim to make your campaign go
viral. A campaign's likelihood of going viral remains
unpredictable, but if you're looking for some inspiration, the
Movember Foundation is a good place to start.