How Movember uses emotional content to tell their story

On the Brand Storytelling podcast, we are joined by Movember co-founder Adam Garone who is a keynote speaker at the World Marketing & Sales Forum this year in Melbourne. In the episode we discuss the Movember story, achieving goals and the emotional content that can engage an audience and make them act. 

Movember is a global organisation committed to changing the face of men’s health and helping them to lead happier and longer lives. Adam was the GQ Man of the Year in 2013 and has held previous roles in marketing and strategy before he co-founded Movember. To date, there is over 5 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas around the globe contributing to the cause.

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In this episode: 

  • The term ‘not-for-profit’.
  • How brands can be built by pushing the boundaries.
  • The outlook for Movember in 2016. 
  • The initiatives Movember is involved in. 

Preview of the show:

Rakhal Ebeli: Adam, your background is clearly in business and marketing. You studied, you had a masters in marketing from Melbourne University, you worked as a marketing manager, a number of organizations and in the property industry initially before moving into what you’re doing now. What lessons can you provide from others in commercial marketing arenas from what you’ve learned from, you mentioned the 80% profit margins from day dot, but from a marketing and content marketing perspective that you’ve learned that you could say others could use to inspire their community, their audience to engage, maybe not to grow a mustache and walk around to be a walking billboard, but to represent the brand in such a way?

Adam Garone: I think for me, reflecting back on this, this is not just me, it’s the 4 co-founders that came together. None of us had any charitable experience, we all came from the for profit world. The 3 other guys were running their own businesses in the creative world and marketing world. We just looked at this from a different perspective, we just thought, “There’s no charities that related to us as 30 year old guys, there’s nothing for us in men’s health.” We wanted to create something that we would engage with and be proud of. Along the way, this is where I think brands are built. I think brands are built when they’re pushing the boundaries, and I think some of the best creative concepts and campaigns are the ones that polarize people. Movember certainly did that, a lot of people hated Movember. A lot of people and a lot and lot of people loved Movember, and the people that loved Movember were galvanized by the people that hated it.

There were very few people in the middle, and I think when your brand is in the middle and you’re chasing likes and you’re responding to anonymous comments online, that stuff, I think you can lose your way. Suddenly your brand becomes vanilla and meaningless, and no-one’s talking about you whether that they love you or they hate you. This is a real challenge for us now as we’re such a big organization, and hanging onto our entrepreneurial roots is, how do we continue to push the boundary, and the testicle shaped soap on a rope is an example of that. It’s, “All right, let’s do that,” and that got people talking. Sure, some people hated it, but a lot of people loved it, and it got people talking. I think the worst outcome for a brand is when they’re not talking about you. For me, brands are created on that edge. When you’re pushing and pushing the edge.

I think it’s all about consistency, and it’s as much about what you do every day, every moment as it is about what you don’t do, and that consistency with people observing both what you do and don’t do is really important. I also think there’s no shortcuts here, in the online world. Often I hear the life hacks and the shortcuts to building a community or whatever it is, for me, it’s about the long cut. There’s no shortcuts to building a loyal following and a loyal community, it truly takes time. Often times people are surprised how long Movember has been around, because they only engaged with it maybe 4 or 5 years ago. Creating a brand that people love takes time, and it is about consistency, it’s about being authentic and transparent around who you are and what you stand for.


Audio: Movember 2016 – Shave the Date

10 inspiring content marketing examples from charities

5 Nonprofits with successful content marketing campaigns

The Rise of Not-for-Profit Content Marketing

Movember 2016

Movember 2016: Grow your Mo

The hidden health crisis we need to talk about

This podcast is in collaboration with our partners at the World Marketing and Sales Forum 2016. Secure your tickets with the promo code NEWSMODO10 for a 10% discount