The Movember Campaign 2018 Origins | Facts | Partners | Controversies

Movember, an annual event, calls everyone to grow their moustache throughout the month of November each year to raise men’s health awareness. They primarily work for the awareness of prostate and testicular cancer, and also for the men’s suicide. The multinational charity called ‘The Movember Foundation’ primarily runs the campaign to “change the face of men’s health.” They work to increase the chance of early detection, effective treatment, and to prevent the number of deaths related to men’s cancer. The foundation calls all men to adopt a healthier lifestyle and encourages them for the annual check-ups.

The Movember Foundation has raised money in Australia and New Zealand for several men’s health issues since its establishment in 2004. They then launched the event in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, Denmark, Ireland, South Africa, Taiwan, and El Salvador by 2007. Canada and its citizen became the major contributor to the Movember fundraising campaign by 2011. The same year, the foundation merged its annual event with the ‘Tacheback’, a testicular cancer awareness event.

The Global Journal named the ‘Movember’ foundation among the top 100 NGOs in the world in 2012. And in this year 2018, they also introduced the ‘Move’ campaign besides their usual ‘Grow the moustache’ campaign. In the new ‘Move’ campaign, the foundation calls everyone to walk or run 60 miles over the month of November this year. According to their official website, the 60 miles signifies “the 60 men we lose to suicide each hour.”

The Origin of Movember

A group of young men in Adelaide, Australia, first coined “Movember” associated with the idea of growing moustache for charitable reasons. The Australian news channel “Seven Nightly News” first reported that story where the ‘Movember Committee’ explained that they came up with that ingenious idea during a regular chat in the pub.  They started with just 80 men and campaigned for the RSPCA with the motto “Growing whiskers for whiskers”.

Another group of 30 men in Melbourne then grew their moustache throughout the month of November in 2004 to raise the awareness of prostate cancer. Adam Garone and Travis Garone of that group then eventually established the ‘Movember Foundation’. The foundation has raised more than $174 million till now. They created a solid buzz in the media when more than 1.1 million men had participated in the 2012 campaign while raising $95 million.

The Movember Foundation charities

The Movember Foundation donates the raised amount to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, the Beyond Blue NGO, and the Cancer Society and Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand since the inauguration of the campaign in 2004. The foundation also donates the raised amount to Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Canada, FEFOC in Spain, the United Kingdom Prostate Cancer, and also to the Livestrong Foundation and the Prostate Cancer Foundation in the United States since 2007. The foundation also started the event in Ireland since 2008, and has donated the raised amount to an initiative of the Irish Cancer Society called the ‘Action Prostate Cancer’.

Partners of the Movember Campaign

Google chrome partnered with the Movember Foundation in 2011 to create a video featuring real participants of the event. The video featured how the participants utilized the internet to raise the funds and awareness for men’s health. The video also featured the song called “Repatriated” by the Handsome Furs and has also crossed 1.1 million hits. Besides, the foundation also collaborated with ‘TOMS’ to create limited edition shoes for the campaign in 2010 and 2011.

Qantas Airways painted a moustache and wrote “Movember.com” in one of its planes in 2011. Nick Offerman made a video supporting the campaign in 2012 which has crossed 1.9 million views and became one of the top 10 most watched charity videos of 2012. Besides, Nick also showed his support while making sketches for the Movember 2013 campaign. Royal Mail created a special postmark with a moustache to show their support to the Movember campaign in 2012. Carlsberg then released special Movember beer beauty accessories in 2015.

The Movember campaign Ambassadors

Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds, Indian cricketers Ravindra Jadeja and Shikhar Dhawan, World Champion surfer Mick Fanning, sports presenter Cameron Williams, author and columnist Samantha Brett, ice hockey star George Parros, and NHL’s Bill McCreary are among those who have supported the Movember campaign. Besides, several players of the Australian rugby team had sported moustaches during the 2009 Autumn Test Series. F1 World Champion Jenson Button also flaunted his blonde moustache at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2009.

American indie pop band ‘Foster the People’, rapper Snoop Dogg, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, actor Kevin Connolly, UFC champions Philip Bloom and Frankie Edgar, and TV presenter Matt Miller supported the Movember event in 2011. Besides, the ‘Mr. Clean’ brand also supported the campaign that year. Moreover, South African rapper Jack Parow became the ambassador for the campaign in his country in 2011.

The Movember Campaign Facts

The Movember Foundation launched a global user-submitted online video contest called ‘The Moscars’ in 2010 to showcase the involvement of the participants with the campaign. They received many 4-minute videos but head judge Stan Lee gave the award to South Africa’s comedy duo Derick Watts & The Sunday Blues in 2012. They have achieved the award for their parody of “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen.

The Movember Foundation chooses the International Man of Movember from 21 national winners around the globe. The national winners, on the other hand, are chosen by the vote of respective countries’ fans and judges. A participant from London named Mark Knight became the first International Man of Movember in 2010.

Movember Controversies

Several graduate students were banned by the authorities of the Scots College in New Zealand from the end-of-year prizes in November 2007 for sporting moustaches in support to the Movember campaign. The college authorities also threatened the senior students to ban them from the NCEA exam if they would grow a moustache in November.

Australian TV program ‘Today Tonight’ accused the Movember foundation of giving a huge amount of salaries to its directors in 2007. They also highlighted the fact that the foundation had spent 9% of the total raised amount as the campaign cost in 2007, and 8% in 2008.