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What The Story of Movember Teaches Us About Event Management

It started with a small group of men in Adelaide. Today, Movember’s gone global - just about everyone’s heard of it. There’s a lesson to be learned there.

In Adelaide, South Australia in 1999, a group of friends had a funny idea while drinking at the pub one night. They decided that for the month of November, they’d grow out their moustaches to raise prostate cancer awareness. Together, they formed the Movember committee, all the while being threatened with legal action by a group of moustache enthusiasts (for some reason).

They can’t have known then what their entertaining joke would become. Today, Movember is a global phenomenon. Each November men the world over cast aside their razors and grow out their facial hair in support of a good cause.

Celebrities such as Nick Offerman, Kevin Connolly, and Snoop Dogg have participated. The group’s partnered with Google Chrome The Royal Mail. Governments have recognized the movement, and the Australia National Rugby Team even painted their jet with a moustache in 2011.

Not bad for what essentially started as a pub joke no?

Why is Movember so popular, though? There are a few reasons for that. Studying each one can teach us how to be better event organizers.

Let’s have a look.

It Fills A Niche

First and foremost, Movember taps into a rather underserved niche in the charity space. See, up until Movember started to take off, men didn’t really have a cause that they could actively rally around. They didn’t have special charities or fundraisers through which they could celebrate themselves.

Movember gave them that, according to The Marketing Student.

“Men don’t have a cause they can rally around — there is no “breast cancer awareness month” for guys,” the publication explains. “By positioning itself as a “manly cause”, Movember gives men something unique and meaningful to celebrate, making moustaches the equivalent of pink ribbons.”

The Takeaway: Provide your audience with something that they can get excited about; something that’s unique and exclusive to them.

It’s Entertaining And Easy To Get Involved

The brilliance of Movember is that getting involved is so easy that it actually involves doing a little bit less in one’s daily routine. All you have to do is stop shaving. Plus, let’s be honest - there’s just something amusing about the whole concept behind Movember, no?

The Takeaway: Never underestimate the power of entertainment, especially when it’s convenient to attain.

It Was Marketed Masterfully

Everything about Movember screams effective marketing. It lends itself seamlessly to viral content (people love sharing pictures of themselves), it has an extremely strong and highly recognizable brand identity, and the name is both catchy and memorable. In short, you couldn’t ask for a better marketing cocktail.

“Movember grabs attention with a very specific brand identity,” explains Rachel Kelly of Deeson. “It uses retro fashion and typography to communicate a bold message. It is largely based online with apps, viral videos and other digital initiatives playing a central role in building moustache momentum. Creating a 'unique personality' for a campaign gives it visibility and helps convey its spirit and ethos.”

The Takeaway: How you get the word out about an event is almost as important as the event itself (if not moreso).

At The End Of The Day, It’s Actually A Pretty Great Idea

Of course, all of this stuff would be Moot if Movember wasn’t a funny, off-color, appealing idea at its core. Never underestimate the role creativity plays in helping you craft incredible events. After all, you never know when an idea you come up with over a pint might become the next big thing.

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