I’ve seen The Dark Knight at least two dozen times (I’m completely hooked and watch it whenever it comes on), and I do what I would consider to be a relatively strong impression of the joker. Not all joker lines, but a few, including “why so serious?” My joker impression, which I’m told “got old,” morphed into impression-free, daily office uses of the line “why so serious?” We say it constantly. We’ll say it after the woman at the CVS counter yells at a customer, and we’ll toss it out there after a lengthy meeting that places a bit too much emphasis on the difference between two – Scott would say identical – Pantone colors. It’s safe to say that we embrace a light-hearted approach; I’m not saying that we don’t take things quite seriously, as we certainly do, but we make a huge distinction between taking things seriously and being serious. And we always applaud those who find unique ways to unite humor with solid messaging. When The Movember Foundation crossed our path, and we learned that they support men’s health awareness in the form of prostate cancer and depression (serious issues) by having men grow moustaches for the month of November (not-so-serious approach), we thought they sounded like a great Onethings fit.
The Movember Foundation has a clear mission: they raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues. Sounds simple enough. But in a flooded, non-profit market, in an even more flooded, online world, a simple approach can sometimes be a one way ticket to fade-into-the-backround-ville. That is, unless your simplicity is the very thing that gets you noticed. What’s great about this foundation, and the idea of Movember in general, is that every complexity in business plan, ambition, and strategy can be boiled down to a very simple and compelling one-liner: we have guys grow moustaches to raise both money and awareness for men’s health. In our travels, we’re finding more and more that there are certain companies, organizations, or ideas that seem like they were bascially founded on Onethings principles. They are so in line with the various ideas that we rant about on this site that it’s often challenging to boil them down to a single Onething. I’m getting that feeling with The Movember Foundation, so I’m going to address their Onething(s) in two parts:
Part One, Internal: The smartest thing that this organization did was make their moustache-growing the cornerstone of their foundation. The idea itself is a riot, but it’s one that could have been easily swatted down in the initial strategy meetings as being too far “out there.” “Let’s just save the whole moustache thing and use it for a specific campaign,” someone could have argued. And poof, like that, the organization would stamp its ticket to the aforementioned fade-into-the-backround-ville. But instead, the moustache became the thing, and the organization joined the ranks of companies like Tom’s Shoes, where you can’t have The Movember Foundation without having the moustache, just as you can’t have Tom’s Shoes without having the one-for-one business model.
Part Two, External: In addition to the moustache being a completely “ownable” business strategy, it also doubles as brilliant marketing approach. As opposed to yellow bracelets (or bracelets of any color), t-shirts, or run / walk events, the moustache is just asking for dialogue. Not only is there the inevitable explanation of why you just strolled into the office with a moustache, but there’s also the community element of being one moustache out of many in support of a cause in which you believe. I am definitely all for bracelets, t-shirts, and events, but I love the commitment and “talkability” of Movember. <a href=”http://www.save2ndbase.com/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Save Second Base</a> took this approach as well (as everyone loved talking about that name a few years ago), but Movember goes a step further in that you have to actually keep that moustache on your face for a month – it’s no wonder they describe participants as “walking billboards.”
The real sell of Movember’s Onething came in the form of how I heard about it. I got an email from my brother-in-law (also named Jon) who came across the organization in a marketing class and saw its Onethings potential. More than anything else, The Movember Foundation is fun. It takes serious issues with serious goals and delivers its message in a not-so-serious way that grabs people’s interest and gets them talking. Jon’s marketing professor shared it with him, he shared it with me, and I’m sharing it with you. Not bad for a moustache.