Movember USA: Using Performance Media to Activate Growers & Givers


Movember is dedicated to growth. Quite literally by the celebration of growing mustaches, and furthermore in the commitment to growing funds and awareness for men’s health. While November is only one month, the Movember Foundation is a global charity that works year-round to help men live happier, healthier, longer lives. Since its conception in 2003, Movember has raised over $650 million and funded over 1,000 projects focused on their key areas: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity.

Movember teamed up with Gupta Media to implement a Facebook campaign to spark conversation and encourage individuals to get involved. While raising awareness of Movember’s mission, the campaign was built and optimized to drive registrations to grow, give and get active. With a powerhouse formula of impactful creative, strategic targeting and conversion tracking, Movember quickly became one of our standout campaigns, which among other things helped increase Facebook driven donations by over 500% from the previous year.

Building Buzz

For an organization that has single-handedly taken over a month of the year, timing is everything. With Movember reserved for growing and giving, we turned our sights to October – a critical time to get people talking about men’s health and signing up on

Facebook ads launched on October 1st, 2015, and immediately began to receive an overwhelming amount of attention and engagement. We worked to get the buzz going early, rolling out a collection of compelling content which ranged from driving views of the “What Is Movember?” video to driving merchandise sales of Movember swag, including tees, hats and pins.

Before Movember even began, the campaign had driven 1,135 registrations to grow or MOVE, along with 556 donations.

Activating the Tribe

We launched our Facebook ads going after Movember’s core fan base first. Core fans consist of a brand’s existing audience, with whom ad messaging resonates best. Movember is a prime example of the core concept, as they have not only fans, but participants and donors whom they must reconnect with each year. And as Facebook’s organic reach continues to decline, our ads became the primary vehicle to speak to these known users, reaching about 90% of Movember USA’s 75,000 Facebook fans in two and a half months.

Movember’s fans are passionate. From the data, we know they participate. Movember’s known fans were responsible for 60% of the campaign’s registration volume, and 78% of the campaign’s donation volume. These are existing users who like Movember’s Facebook page, have talked about Movember on Facebook, or have subscribed to Movember’s email list. These are users who have raised their hands and opted to be part of the cause. Our job was to activate this audience, to find them and show them how they can help.

One especially important, and often overlooked, component of the core audience are email subscribers. By targeting Movember’s email subscribers, Facebook ads drove over 400 donations with an ROI of 1,312%.

While Movember’s known fans converted best, a secondary campaign objective was to find and make new fans out of people with similar interests. In doing so, our Facebook ads reached nearly 3 million unique users and drove over 2,600 new fans of Movember USA’s page. Unsurprisingly, we found the top converting affinity audiences to be fans of similar beard and mustache interests (such as World Beard and Moustache Championships), as well as fans of various fitness interests including Ironman Triathlons and CrossFit.

Calling all Women

A quarter of Movember USA’s Facebook fans are female. While the organization focuses on men’s health, Movember has introduced new ways for women to get involved and support their friends and family. The latest, their MOVE initiative, is a 30-day physical fitness challenge open to all genders to combat Movember’s focus area of physical inactivity.

To increase awareness and commitments to the MOVE challenge, we had to ensure sisters, wives and friends would hear about Movember’s cause as well. To do this, we used a combination of gender-specific creative and targeting. As a result, Facebook ads were able to drive 280 registrations and 508 donations from women alone.

Creative Highlights

Over the course of the 2015 campaign, we ran more than 300 different Facebook ads. With the value of the core audience in mind, it was a priority to keep both native and unpublished posts fresh and constantly rotating. To maintain this dialogue with fans, we used a healthy mix of image, video and carousel ads, in addition to boosting Movember’s organic content to help with posts’ visibility and reach. Movember also provided us with a wealth of content and key dates to sustain this creative momentum, so we could create personalized messages around the first day of the month, Thanksgiving, Mustache Monday, and Giving Tuesday.

Iconic MO’s

One advantage to running hundreds of ads is the ability to test different creatives with different audiences, to discover what works best for the campaign’s objectives. One particularly successful group of ads we ran were highlighting iconic mustaches from popular culture and media. The Facebook ad featuring Burt Reynolds was a hit, responsible for driving over 260 donations and an ROI of 531%.

Carousel Ads: Choose your Cause

With the donation phase of the campaign in full swing, we needed an elegant way to present all of Movember’s focus areas, to let users select which cause they wished to support. Facebook’s carousel unit was the perfect ad type to accomplish this. The carousel ads, showcasing different causes and faces, proved to be a success – driving 350 donations and an ROI of 175%.


Movember and Gupta Media were able to create an effective performance campaign by combining well-branded, thought provoking creative with a strategic, yet fluid media strategy. Given the time-sensitive nature of the campaign, precise messaging and delivery were key, and the ability to optimize based on performance was paramount.

The goal of this campaign was to increase registrations and donations by 50% from 2014. Our 2015 campaign well exceeded this expectation, driving registration volume up 198% and donation volume up 508% from the prior year.

Together, we fused a variety of high quality assets with hand-picked targets to not only activate Movember’s loyal fans and recurring participants, but to ignite an ongoing conversation about men’s health.

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