Most of us have already developed a habit of calling the penultimate month of the year Movember and take some part in this. Every October 31st, millions of men take their razorblade and shave their face smooth, only to embark on an epic mustache cultivating journey. Some do it to raise male health awareness, someare just curious and want to see if they can pull it off, some do it just for the kicks. Oneway or another, thanks to the Interent and social media this local Australian campaign spread accross the globe.
There has been some rumors about the medical industry starting the whole hype in a promotion stunt of some sort, because, how else could such an idea conquer the world? Actually, all it took was two Australians, Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, who were having a quiet beer (apparently, best ideas come to you when you drink beer- so make sure you can always have some at hand) They were talking about recurring fashion trends- the mustache were not among those recurring trend, mind you. They joked about bringing the stache back, and decided to talk their friends into joining them- two guys with vintage facial hair is just weird, but 30? Well, that is a serious trendsetting effort.
Inspired by their friend’s mother who was fundraising for breast cancer, they decided to make it into a campaign about men’s health– prostate cancer, to be precise. They designed rules and guidelines for Movember, which are still in place today and decided to charge ten dollars to grow a Mo. Travis also designed the first Movember logo, and they e-mailed it around with under the title Are you man enough to be my man?
From 30 to a million in just few Movembers
The first Movember turned out to be such a blast that the guys decided to take it one step further. To make it formal, Adam Garone stepped registered a company and created a website, and Justin Coghlan (JC) joined the team, set on bringing this new Mo’ trend to Queensland. In the second year of Movember, the trend spread to Spain and the UK and 450 participants (Mo Bros) raised $54,000. The entire sum were donated to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and all costs were covered by the four co-founders until the 2005 campaign. In 2005 Mo Bros have given the PCFA the largest single donation in the history of this organization. The donation check had seven figures on it.
Hence forth PCFA became Movember’s first official men’s health partner and the Movember Foundation was founded and this charity became a full-time gig for Adam and Luke began working on Movember full time. Luke also changed Movember’s official tagline to Changing the face of men’s health- don’t you just love the pun? They researched the issue further to realize that prostate cancer patients were also struggling hard with depression, so the guys partnered up with Beyondblue: the national depression and anxiety initiative.
Since those first few years, Movember has continued to spread like wildfire, and is now supported by more than a million Mo bro’s and Mo sista’s (no, we do not actually grow the mustache, but we do like to take selfies with fake ones to support the cause). Last year this campaign raised 147.0 million dollars, and there is no doubt in my mind that the mustache growing community will top that amount this year.
Care to share your Mo’s with us? 🙂