CAMPAIGNS: Moustaches raise cash in aid of cancer - Charity PR

Client: Everyman Action Against Male Cancer Campaign PR Team: In-house Campaign: TacheBack Timescale: February-October 2003 Budget: £9,000

Raising awareness of male cancers can be tough, as men can be blase about their health.

In February, the Everyman Campaign - which raises funds for and awareness of testicular and prostate cancers - was approached by Justin Carter, owner of the Elbow Rooms bars, with the idea of raising money by holding a national moustache-growing month in September. As a result, Everyman's in-house team launched 'TacheBack' in mid-August.

Objectives

To publicise TacheBack and raise awareness of male cancers. To create a tongue-in-cheek campaign that would establish the moustache as cool, and create media interest in a 'tache revival'. To secure a corporate sponsor for the campaign. To raise £30,000 to support research carried out at the Everyman Male Cancer Research Centre.

Strategy and Plan

The quirky idea grabbed the imagination of men's fashion magazine GQ, which came on board as media partner. It ran a double-page feature with eight male celebs, including Nick Moran and Dermot O'Leary, posing with moustaches. Its endorsement was a crucial part of the campaign, immediately finding its target audience of young men.

The picture was syndicated out with a press release to national and regional newspapers, while details of the competition were sent to fashion editors to announce the 'tache renaissance'. Key journalists were also encouraged to grow moustaches.

A TacheBack website was set up where moustache growers could register, which promoted Justgiving.com, the online charity sponsorship service.

People could post pictures of themselves online and report on their moustache-growing progress, while sponsors could leave comments.

All moustache growers were invited to compete for prizes at a TacheBack party at the Elbow Rooms, where they could also get their taches shaved off.

Measurement and Evaluation

The GQ feature was picked up in The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Express, while Metro and the Evening Standard featured full-page articles. There was further coverage in The Guardian and 27 regional titles, as well as magazines She and Front.

BBC Breakfast News and Radio 1, 2 and Five Live also featured the story, while Football Focus presenters wore fake moustaches on the show. All coverage mentioned Everyman Action.

Results

More than 600 men were sponsored to grow moustaches, raising £46,000.

Along with £10,000 corporate sponsorship each from Gillette Mach 3 Turbo and Braun Activator, TacheBack has now raised £80,000 for the charity.

Scottish Daily Express editor Kerry Gill was prompted to write a feature after seeing the spread in GQ. He said: 'I was interested in the idea because most men have dabbled with growing a moustache, or are curious about how it would look.'

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