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Movember Increases Ambitions as It Enters Its Teens

The Movember Foundation, dating to 2004 in Australia and 2007 in the U.S., is sporting an increased number of brand partnerships this year, and has a major men’s health campaign planned for the new year.

As Movember moves into its second decade in the United States, the annual event is gaining a whole lot of ambition, along with those mustaches.

The event, which dates to 2004 in Australia but came to the U.S. and a number of other countries in 2007, encourages men to grow mustaches in an effort to draw attention to different men’s health issues, particularly prostate and testicular cancer. As part of its campaign this year, the U.S. arm of the Movember Foundation is doing two things to help expand its reach:

Aiming for an ambitious goal. Late last month, the foundation announced a campaign that hopes to bring the Movember spirit to the calendar all year long. Starting early next year, the organization will launch an effort called 50 Million Men, which aims to offer digital resources on mental and physical health, including health trackers and online training programs, to improve the life expectancy of men. “Men’s health is in crisis. Life expectancy of American men is 5 years less than women,” the foundation noted on its website. “To contribute to a transformative change in men’s health, we need to empower all American men with greater knowledge and resources to stay healthy, and take action early if they begin to experience mental or physical ill health. Closing this gap will lead to healthier men, families and communities.” The organization teamed with researchers to build evidence-based tools that men can use to improve their physical health.

Teaming with big brands. The organization isn’t just limiting its donation efforts to men wearing ‘staches. Also donning a bit of facial hair are some of the most prominent brand mascots around, including frozen veggie icon Green Giant, Planters spokesman Mr. Peanut, and board game tycoon Mr. Monopoly. (In the latter case, we’ll overlook the fact that he already had one.) The foundation is also working with brands like watchmaker Fossil and the razor-maker Schick, retailers such as Men’s Wearhouse, and celebrities including football superstar Aaron Rodgers.

The foundation, despite its seemingly ironic veneer, has become a major force. According to the foundation’s 2018 annual report [PDF], more than 300,000 “Mo Bros” and “Mo Sistas” raised $87 million last year alone, funds that have gone to assist more than 1,200 men’s health projects across 20 countries. The organization is the 45th-largest NGO in the world.

Not bad for a bunch of chin whiskers.

(FoxysGraphic/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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