Case Study

Movember – Fear of missing out

A man commits suicide every minute of every day. Three out of four suicides are men. It is the biggest killer of men under 45. All around the world, men are dying too young.

The Movember Foundation was formed to stop this. The charity works on a brilliantly simple idea: grow a moustache in November to raise money for men’s causes – from mental health support to tackling testicular and prostate cancer. But in recent years participation had decreased as the novelty wore off. Not enough people understood what Movember raises money for, or what good it can do.

It was in danger of losing relevance.

The AEM process

We had two tasks: to raise awareness of what the Movember Foundation does, and generate excitement around Movember to increase participation and donations.

We looked at the types of content men consumed, analysed their emotional responses to it, and researched the topics they most talked about (both on and off-line). Sport, news, leisure and travel were the biggest topics. Personal stuff didn’t even get a look-in.

We discovered a “taboo” still exists around men’s feelings. Simply put, men are scared to open up about the stuff that worries them. Money stresses, depression, loneliness: men carry these feelings alone, rather than “burden” friends or families with them. A lump found on their testicles? Feeling tired or overwhelmed? These are shrugged off, with a hope that “it’ll go away on its own”.

But sometimes it doesn’t.

Our research found one of the principle reasons that some men are dying too young: because they are too afraid to talk about their feelings.

If Movember was to be a big success we had to break this taboo.


We created #FOMO(vember) – a reminder to all men that a fear of opening up about your feelings or troubles is nowhere near as terrifying as the “Fear of Missing Out” – of dying too young, and missing out on what the rest of your life can offer.

We created a raft of Movember stories using a mixture of celebrities and people not in the public eye, and ran their stories in places where men were going to be. Our content spanned video, social, digital, print and broadcast media (through our partnership with Sky Media).

Some of it was disruptive and shocking. Some of it was desperately sad, too. But we also had to ensure that the fun, humour and spirit of Movember was maintained and amplified.


We drove more than 50,000 sign-ups for Movember – beating our target by more than 250 per cent. Most importantly, over two thirds had never done Movember before. We also increased donations by 16 per cent.

Other facts:

Understanding the purpose:
• + 48% improvement: “Funded important education programmes to reduce preventable deaths among men”
• + 50% improvement: “Movember is encouraging men to take better care of their health”

Our content drove exposure and interaction at scale:
• More than 11.3m video views with a 45.53% completion rate of all digital video (vs a benchmark of 24.6%)
• “Andy’s Man Club” real-life story – 4.8m organic views on The Sun’s Facebook page – the highest News UK has ever seen
• 71,446 actual social engagements
• 39.4m views across Sky Sports (commercial and bespoke content)



  • 11.3m video views with 45.3% completion rate
  • 50000 sign-ups to Movember with 16% increase
    in funds raised
  • 48% improvement in understanding the purpose of Movember to reduce preventable
    deaths among men