Movember Is Back With New Look, New Sponsors

Discovery, Wheaties join 'Generation Mo'

Heads up, gents: It's almost Movember again. 

Now open for registration, the annual charity drive is celebrating its 10th anniversary by making some new additions to its core mission, which encourages men to grow mustaches over the course of November and use their facial hair as conversation starters to raise awareness of—and money for—men's health causes, like research to treat testicular and prostate cancers.

The creative theme of this year's campaign is "Generation Mo" or "Gen Mo," a play on demographers' habit of naming successive eras by letter, á la Gen X and Gen Y. The charity's creative agency is Melbourne, Australia-based Urchin.

"The campaign is all about change," said Movember co-founder and CEO Adam Garone. "What we're trying to inspire here is a very positive movement, and it's really going back to the core of how Movember started."

Movember first launched in Melbourne in 2003 by a group of 30 friends. By 2012, it had grown to a formal presence in 21 countries, with some 1.1 million registrants who helped raise a total of $147 million.

To help it grow further, Movember has attracted first-time sponsors like Discovery, Wheaties and 7 for All Mankind. Gillette, the charity's "grooming partner," is expanding its role from a major sponsorship in the United Kingdom last year to a global role this year that includes United States, Canada and Australia, among other countries. Toms Shoes, Movember's longest standing sponsor, is back again with new footwear featuring mustache designs. Fosters, Art of Shaving, and Made Men are also returning as sponsors.

Movember, meanwhile, is taking merchandising in house. "In the past we've partnered with apparel brands to produce T-Shirts and merchandise like that, where a very small percentage of the revenue from those items came back to Movember," said Garone. "We've created the Movember Collection this year which is our own range of merchandise where 100 percent of the revenue from those items comes back to the Movember Foundation." (The new merchandise line is separate from partnerships with fashion brands like Toms Shoes, and 7 For All Mankind, which direct a percentage of revenue from Movemeber-branded products to the charity).

The charity has also added a running list of "Movember Rated Barbers" to its website, to point would-be participants towards professional groomers in their cities.. "That's analogous to Zagat rated restaurants," said Garone. "Were curating a list of barbers here in the U.S. and around the world that are passionate about Movember, [and] passionate about men's health."

Movember is extending that health mission this year to encourage participants to get more exercise, citing research showing the adverse effects of a too-sedentary modern lifestyle.

And it's bringing back last year's marketing-industry-themed "Agency Challenge," which saw media buying shop ZenithOptimedia best a field of 64 agencies and 1,518 particiapnts, raising $45,500 out of a $281,877 total draw. 

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