In his lifetime, a man spends about six months shaving. But over the last few years, for a one-month stretch in November, razors are relegated to the cupboard in favor of letting the whiskers ride.
Whether it be full-on displays of upper lip art, or a something that looks more like a pencil sketch, a bunch of bristly bros across the world have come together for one cause—raising awareness for men’s health by maintaining a mustache no matter how mountainous the task, or itch, may be.
Thirteen years after four friends in Melbourne brought the mustache back to fundraise and focus efforts on men’s health, another Movember comes to a close today.
Movember. Mo problems. Mo mustaches—all thanks to the Movember Foundation, which has become a global movement and raised more than $710 million in 21 countries for 1,200 men’s health projects focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention since 2003.
“Men are dying too young, on average, six years younger than women, and we can’t afford to stay silent,” Mark Hedstrom, senior vice president of global operations at the Movember Foundation, told [a]listdaily. “When it comes to their health, too many men don’t talk, and don’t take action for their health. We want men to live happier, healthier, longer lives and work toward doing so by running awareness and fundraising activities year-round, with the annual Movember campaign in November being globally recognized for its fun and innovative approach to raising money and getting men to take action for their health.”
Mustachioed men have increasingly been sharing the significant story, and it’s a progressive work in process. By 2030, Movember aims to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25 percent.
“For years, it was a great way to build awareness and establish our brand,” Hedstrom says. “This year, and moving forward, our messaging is about the causes we support. Our goal, to ‘Stop Men Dying Too Young,’ along with our focus on the stories of real men and women who have been impacted by prostate cancer, testicular cancer or mental health issues, either directly or through family and friends, exemplifies how our organization is undeniably maturing and evolving.”
Hedstrom says the support of their partners has been invaluable, and the relationships continue to help drive Movember’s success by increasing visibility of the cause to raise critical funds through internal participation and marketing efforts, and by creating unforgettable experiences for the Movember community.
The creative and branding for this year’s Movember was focused on highlighting ‘Real Stories from Mo Bros and Mo Sistas’ with deep ties to the cause, and a consistent loyalty fundraise.
The concept was further evidenced in the content, visuals and stories throughout Movember.com and the foundation’s social media platforms. On Sunday, the Movember story moved on to Snapchat Discover as men from all over the world showed their support for the stache.
Movember has also drawn support from celebrities from all industries in year’s past. Remember the ones LeBron James and Aaron Rodgers had? And just look at the one Marcus Mariota is sporting this year. The foundation also has influencers and ambassadors like Bubba Wallace, Ian Somerhalder and Colman Domingo who use their platform and audience to start conversations that encourage people to join the movement.
Shaving brands like Harry’s, Gillette, Braun, Remington, Proraso, Barbosal, Neutrogena, Dollar Shave Club and The Art of Shaving have organically aligned their efforts for Movember in recent years, too.
“We work extremely hard to build and maintain strong relationships with our community members, which is done primarily through our development team who are on the ground connecting with loyal supporters throughout the US,” Hedstrom says. “We also recognize the five million in Mo Bros and Mo Sistas who reach certain fundraising thresholds with various rewards.”
The Movember Foundation is uniquely placed to address the crisis of men dying too young at a global level. The overarching goal is to help make change happen sooner, and they’re doing that by prioritizing the funding of three of the biggest health issues faced by men—prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health.
Hedstrom says they’re supporting ground-breaking programs all over the world and engaging with men where they are to understand what works best to ensure a long-term impact.
“We’ve been amazed to see how much it has created a deepened connection with our supporters, and inspired others to take action for their health, or the health of a loved one,” Hedstrom says. “From humble beginnings, the Movember movement has grown to be a truly global one. The Movember Foundation wouldn’t be where it is without the enthusiasm of all of those men and women around the globe.”
Follow Manouk Akopyan on Twitter @Manouk_Akopyan