Movember Keeps Growing

Movember is running its sixteenth campaign this year. What started as a small undertaking by two friends in an Australian bar in 2003 has transformed to become a global campaign to promote men’s health. Back then, the movement began with thirty men who grew an out of fashion moustache in order to raise awareness has grown to over 5 million men and women (Mo Bros and Mo Sistas) who have helped raise over $800 million in countries all over the world including Canada.

The Racket reached out to Ken Aucoin, Country Director for the Movember Foundation Canada via email about Canada’s involvement in this global campaign. We were curious as to whether the Movember Foundation had any stats on Newfoundland Mo Bros. “We don’t break out numbers provincially, but last year, 56,000 Mo Bros and Mo Sistas raised $17 million in Canada,” said Aucoin.

We were curious if there is any pushback from groups who may consider a campaign based on men’s health to be less than inclusive. “Movember is a unique campaign in that it is largely driven at the community level,” said Aucoin. “There aren’t barriers like needing to be in a certain place at a certain time, so it really makes it possible for anyone to get involved.” He believes that the funds and awareness that Movember raises are the most important. “Everyone is impacted by men’s health - we all have dads, brothers, uncles, cousins and friends, who benefit from the conversations generated by growing a moustache or attending an event that encourages change in men’s health.”

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The Movember Foundation tries to keep the campaign fresh each year with creative and new initiatives. Movember’s main goal is to keep men from dying too young and Aucoin told The Racket about an interesting way to bring awareness to this cause. “This year, on Movember 30, we’ll be paying tribute to the 587 Canadian men that will die this month from a preventable cause by encouraging men to shave their Mo at half mast, which is new to the campaign this year.”

A yearly campaign such as Movember could possibly suffer from “cause fatigue” since there are so many other charities and causes that ask for donations. It seems though, that people continue to participate in Movember and donate to the cause. Aucoin attributes this to what he calls “passionate Mo Bros and Mo Sistas.” These people rally behind Movember each year and host events that bring people together. “So in a way that makes for a different campaign on its own,” said Aucoin.

Another way to keep people interested is for Movember to partner with companies and brands that align with Movember’s brand and target audience. One such company is Canada’s SAXX Underwear whose partnership with Movember has been ongoing for the past five years.

The Racket spoke with Adam Greene, SAXX’s head of marketing via email about this partnership. “The Movember Foundation has always been one of SAXX’s philanthropy initiatives, because of their dedication to promoting men’s health,” said Greene. “Today SAXX continues its mission to become the world’s best men’s underwear brand by equipping the modern man to tackle today’s challenges.”

SAXX designs a special pair of Movember themed underwear and donates two dollars for every pair sold to Movember. These special Movember underwear are created by SAXX’s design team. “[We create] prints that represent common trends of the season, and add a little humor to the pairs making them stand out amongst the other prints. This year’s print is barber themed with floating mustaches, scissors and barbers,” said Greene.

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Keeping with the Movember campaign fresh, SAXX and the Movember Foundation have teamed up for the Undie Run, with the inaugural event taking place in Vancouver on Sunday November 4. According to SAXX’s Facebook page, “100 brave souls stripped down to their SAXX and ran 4km in support of Movember Foundation Canada’s men’s health research.” An Undie Run is scheduled to take place in Toronto on November 18 and registration is still open.

For more information about Movember Foundation Canada, you can visit their website, like them on Facebook, or follow them on Instagram @movember as well as Twitter @movemberCA.