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Movember And the Social Media Mustache

The power of Movember.

By getting behind a cause, a marketer can really improve their brands social media standing and that of their chosen charity. Cooperative promotion has been a mainstay of the past and has taken on a new power with social media.

Before social media, companies donated/raised money on behalf of charities knowing that not only could they help others but that they could help themselves through increased brand recommendation, exposure and the tax benefits that have always made Financial Director’s smile!

With the advent of social media, the reach for this type of activity has exponentially grown, as users can spread the message across their network with the click of a mouse. The added bonus is that not only does it spread the sponsors brand but that of the charities and so both parties benefit. Some might question the ethics but I would argue that as long as the cause is at the heart of the activity then any additional benefits gained are just that, additional to raising awareness and cash for a cause.

As an example, this month is Movember, when across the globe men grow moustaches as a way of drawing attention to the need for further research into male health issues- such as prostate cancer. Female members of society are also included as they are requested to donate and wear promotional accessories such as fake moustaches, t-shirts etc, all drawing attention to the cause. As a member of the Movember movement I will shamelessly (this blog is testament!) promote the cause and my desire to raise as much as I can. I will also expect a greater level of engagement in my social broadcasts as a result and therefore greater awareness of my other assets.

Potential customers will undoubtedly see my brand in a different light and I hope a more positive one. By recognizing me and my team as people worth doing business with for reasons beyond our skill and service offering, they will attribute positive trust where there was apathy before.

This involvement can be attached to any cause, event, publication etc. Take the recent Red Bull Stratos supported event. Experts have estimated the coverage would have cost Red Bull $100 Million dollars worldwide compared to the couple of million it cost to get Felix down in one piece.

Social media drove the interest and engagement as people across the globe questioned his survival chances, whether he would break the records and what his next move would be.

Of course this kind of activity can bite back, as in the recent case of Lance Armstrong and all the sponsors that jumped on board while he was winning and then quickly left when the revelations about his doping came to light.

To get it right, thoroughly research the charity, event etc. Choose to get involved because you believe in the cause, not just because you think it will bring good exposure, and then be prepared to push  the message to your communities like never before in order to get maximum traction.

Nick Charles is a Guest Blogger for Branding Personality. He is based in Bristol, UK, a major center for digital marketing and publishing, and grew up in “old reekie,” or Edinburgh, Scotland. More of Nick’s work can be found at www.gibedigital.com and www.gogomobile.co.uk

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3 Responses to “Movember And the Social Media Mustache”

  1. Ashley says:

    Hmm. I would argue that Movember HASN’T been successful because it has generated almost no discourse, let alone beneficial discourse, about prostate cancer and what people who are affected need. It’s raised money and that’s great (depending on where the money is going. I don’t know and I don’t think most “Mos” know either), but TRUE awareness is essential for change. And there’s no awareness in this campaign. Just awareness about moustaches.

    • I agree with Ashley. This is just another example of social media slacktivism. Have you ever tried to actually get anybody to DO anything on the social web? I mean beyond click a “like” button? It’s almost impossible. If I wrote a blog post about preventative cancer measures every day this month I am not naive enough to think it is going to drive anybody to action, let alone think that I am making a difference by decorating my avatar with a fake moustache.

  2. sheri4l says:

    I disagree with the other comments above. I think this is a great way for the Movember cause to get people to take notice and be aware of the cause.
    Just because people are now using social media doesn’t make it any different than in the “old days” when they had other events to raise awareness and money.

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