How to run a Movember campaign, ethically

The season of the moustache is back! It is the time to show your support for men’s health issues and engage your customers with a Movember campaign. Adam Garone, CEO and Co-founder of Movember Foundation, shares tips on how businesses can run a Movember campaign without compromising on the cause.

Spring is in the air and so are the signs of growth, the tentative upper-lip stubble that has begun appearing on men’s faces as they ditch the razor in preparation for ‘Movember’ – a global campaign that encourages men to grow facial hair to create awareness and raise funds for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and other men’s health issues.

What began as a joke in 2003 between a couple of friends at a Melbourne pub has now become Movember Foundation, a global charity with 21 participating countries funding 1,000 men’s health projects and raising A$680 million worldwide. Being a fun and simple challenge with a visual self-promotion appeal, it has become a favourite of bands doing cause marketing. A quick look around during November will reveal not just urban hipsters sporting a fresh ‘mo’, but everyone from PlayStation, Snickers, Adidas and Google Map’s pegman, who dons a bit of a Tom Selleck, joining in the cause with Movember ads and campaigns.

For small and medium businesses, it is a great opportunity to associate themselves with a worthy cause and communicate their connection to customers. However, before you join the mo parade, remember that there is a fine line between creating a connection with a cause and using it as a marketing gimmick.

Adam Garone, Movember Foundation CEO and Co-founder, offers some tips on how you can run an ethical Movember marketing campaign this year.

1. Enable customers to make a contribution through your company.

“People make positive choices to prioritise businesses that contribute to their society when the connection between the brand and the cause is genuine,” outlines Garone. “They want to support a cause that is meaningful to them and where the opportunity exists to purchase a product that supports a relevant cause.” You can help your customer do this by various means such as adding a ‘click and donate’ button on your site, or running a social media contest such as giving $1 for every photo posted to the charity.

2. Choose a charity that resonates with your business.

“Always keep in mind why you’re supporting the cause and do it for the right reasons – if it’s a cause that aligns well with your business and your target market (for example, with Movember if you have a majority of male employees) then your employees and the rest of your business is more likely to get on-board,” says Garone.

3. Support staff to connect with the charity.

If it’s supported internally as well as through the public, the connection with the charity will imbue the business more thoroughly. “One of the best ways a business can support Movember is through dollar matching – either committing to matching the amount their staff fundraise or contributing a set amount, say $10,000,” says Garone. “This is a simple and easy way for businesses to show their staff that they are investing in men’s health and taking the health and wellbeing of men in their organisation, and around the world, seriously.”

4. Once you connect your business with a charity, stick with it.

“Plan to be in it for the long term and support one or two causes well rather than spreading yourself too thin.” This way your customers and employees will begin to see a legitimate connection between your business and the charity.

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