In case you haven’t quite caught on to the annual mustache-growing social media trend, Movember isn’t just about donning a cool mustache to showcase your masculinity – it is a movement that started in Australia in 2003 to raise awareness about men’s health issues such as testicular cancer, prostate cancer, mental health and suicide rates amongst men worldwide.
According to Movember foundation, men on average die six years earlier than women due to health issues that could have been prevented if they were aware sooner.
While current power structures still hold men in power, position and privilege it is ironic how much we actually talk about men’s issues. Further, as feminism spearheads the mainstream media, it’s become consequential that many people forget that men’s health issues are also prevalent and in need of discussions.
As a result, many commercial companies have been slow to seeing boys and men as worthy beneficiaries of Corporate Social Responsibility.
Why brands have championed the cause
Brands and businesses that have partnered with Movember have benefited in raising funds for prostate and testicular cancer through its ‘mo-growing festival’ around the world. ‘Grow a mo, save a bro’ is a light hearted way for brands to get people discussing and promoting men’s health issues.
Movember presents an opportunity for brands to create real portrayals of men and the challenges they face – it’s an avenue to test and experiment with new creative ideas.
Singapore creatives from TBWA/Singapore accomplishes this with their ingenious campaign ‘Moustaches Make A Difference’ back in 2010. The campaign sought to recreate mirrors of famous icons in history with and without moustaches in efforts to raise funds for the Singapore Prostate Cancer Research Fund.
It’s a wonder why some brands and agencies are afraid of giving their artists more creative freedom to broadcast healthy messages. TBWA/Singapore’s art campaign serves as testimony to the potential prospects of innovation and risk.
Burger King is no stranger to jumping at an opportunity to sell their brand while raising awareness for men’s health. To show their solidarity with the cause in their ‘Movember King’ campaign, BK invited its consumers to raise awareness by growing their own epic stache’. Digital agency ‘Code and Theory’ does a remarkable job in conceptualizing and producing the campaign.
While many have taken a light-hearted approach, some brands have tread more deeply about men’s issues. Lynx’s #BiggerIssues campaign to raise awareness for male suicide during International Men’s Day is a lesson that movements such as Movember allow you to reinforce your brand values as well as (re)position in yourself in the marketplace in respect to men’s health.
The campaign reached 24 million people and won the charity sector’s Corporate Partnership of the Year award.
If your brand’s vision and values are strongly aligned with the efforts of Movember, it would benefit you to initiate creative campaigns to further reinforce your brand voice whilst championing healthy discourses for men worldwide. We believe it’s time to portray men in a more realistic light.
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