Creating a movement: 4 must-do’s taken from “MOVEMBER”.

by Kurt on December 2, 2011

November is over. For the first time ever, November got a bit of a special “swing”, at least for me … all of a sudden, many men were growing moustaches! MOVEMBER was in the air. Although this has been a nearly 10 year “movement”, I’d never seen it…








Movember is the amalgamation of Moustache and November. It apparently is also known as “No Shave November” or “Mustache Movember” or “The Month Formerly Known As November”.  Movember began in Melbourne, Australia, nearly 10 years back. It is now truly global and moves more than 1.5 million people into action. And it’s not just for fun! The aim of Movember is to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. Check out

Livestrong, the “movement” that cyclist Lance Armstrong created for fighting cancer, is a brand in the forefront of the Movember movement.

Co-Founder and CEO of Movember, Adam Garone, on the start and goals of MOVEMBER:

The results.

(I’m sure these are not the latest). The Movember movement raised in excess of $100 million this year. What’s more, it raised the awareness of many men around (prostate) cancer and related causes. Not bad for growing a few moustaches around the world! The social, viral effect of Movember is big, noticeable. Without a doubt, Movember wouldn’t be where it is without the current state of social media. Why? The fun can spread! Men upload their pictures on the many websites, companies jump in, women make fun of it all, the Movember website grows, etc. As you can see below, it took them many years to get there!



From the MOVEMBER , I’m deriving 4 big must-do’s to create a movement:

1- Make it fun, fun, fun.

Movember is “just for laughs” -that’s how it started, and that’s how it grew. A very simple thing. Fun. Fun. And more fun. It is really funny seeing yourself, and all other men with their moustaches and macho-behavior 😉 … that creates other fun & bonding moments. Fun all around!

2- Make it inherently viral.

Growing a moustache, especially if you don’t have one, is something you WANT to share! Hence the many fb, flickr pics and youtube video’s. Viral is almost “natural” in Movember. A great way for men to “express themselves” (one of the big drivers of social media!)

3- Make it effortless.

No effort. No money. There is no money involved in participating in Movember. (Yes money gets generated as donations for the cause). And there is no other effort than just growing a moustache. In essence that is even taking away effort, since you don’t have to shave for a month! The risk of participation is very low… the only thing that can happen is a few laughs from people, but then again that reinforces points 1 & 2.

4- Have a great cause.

If growing a moustache were the solve purpose of Movember, it would have died long time ago. But now there is great context around the movement. There is a real, true cause with a recognizable brand (LIVESTRONG) clearly linked to it. It is a movement for men, and the subject of conversation is about men. Clearly carved out elements for a great movement that holds its story together.


With all that, MOVEMBER might in the future be as strong as a similar movement: the pink ribbon one that raises awareness around breast cancer!

The above graph also shows that it takes time to create a truly global movement. So patience is more than a virtue when creating movements!


Only a few brands (below) take advantage of MOVEMBER. If I were marketing a men’s health, beauty, a grooming product, or (!) a beer, I’d jump on the bandwagon. The stories you can build around MOVEMBER and tie to your brand are superb… and endless! Even Mr. Clean in the US found a way to have its manly icon grow a moustacheawesome!



AND … :











Thank you for reading this post,


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