I came across an article about the Garone brothers Adam and Travis recently in the careers section of the weekend newspaper. They are the founders of the Movember movement http://au.movember.com/
What started as a birthday party stunt for Travis in 2003 involving 30 close friends has since evolved into a fund raising juggernaut worth $450 million in revenue. The main beneficiary is the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Journalist Simon Nettle explains its success succinctly in the article:
“Movember has hit the charity nail on the head. It combines an excellent challenge (growing a moustache) with an efficient fund raising system that fights prostate and testicular cancer and raises awareness about men’s mental health.”
In 2004 the second Movember had 450 participants and $52 000 was raised. The Garone brothers thought they might be onto something….Between 2004 and 2005 a small team set up the website and other infrastructure using their own time and money. The 2005 campaign saw 9300 participants and $1.2 million raised.
Now it is a full time job for everyone involved and takes place in 15 countries.
This year Movember Ambassador and celebrated Australian pastry chef Adriano Zumbo http://adrianozumbo.com/ has released a special Movember ‘Zumbaron’ with 100% of proceeds going to Movember.
Movember has always been a reminder of time passing in my various workplaces since its inception – not unlike the Christmas and Easter holiday periods. My male work colleagues parading round with their new facial accessories looking simultaneously sheepish and proud.
I think the cleverest thing about the movement is the fact that it costs nothing to do, is easy to achieve (though I have been privy to a few ‘whispy’ versions over the years!) and is an instant marketing presence when all the billboard faces show themselves with their new furry wingman. I noticed Australian cricketer Mitchell Johnson sporting a handle bar version on the TV the other night during the news (that’s about all I noticed of the cricket!).
Good on you Garone brothers.