Ad Age has published a memorial of a kind already. Mr. Nimoy was no stranger to advertising, of course. His real influence, though, was never the equity he brought to marketing. Rather, his unique interpretation of the half-Vulcan, half-human Mr. Spock, and the Star Trek science fiction narrative served as a vision and inspiration for all that was possible in the world for generations of us worldwide. Perhaps no other series of stories has brought to life a future of technology in which doctors have life-saving apparatuses an arm’s reach away; where space travel is everyday; computers have at their disposal the full knowledge of the entire human experience; machines learn and process massive data in an instant, provide reason and advice; and vessels of our own (and alien) design travel at the speed of light. And most of the technology featured is intended for the good of man, for the purposes of peace and to satisfy the insatiable thirst of human exploration and curiosity. And where weapons seemed to have a default state of stun, and not kill. A universe where anything seemed possible and it all seemed so real.
Reflecting on this brings me back to a whole course of events leading up to this day. Bear with me; this nostalgia comes from a place of honest grief. This is a eulogy of a kind.
One of the things I find the most interesting about Movember, and this is the fifth year running that we’ve had a team of fundraisers here at GSD&M, is that men are surprisingly vain creatures. Recruiting men to grow mustaches for a month always means having to not so gently remind dudes that clients actually think highly of people who do cancer fundraising; they are, in fact, real people, too. Also, Thanksgiving family photos just have a different story behind them: “Yes, Dad looked like creeper porn star back in ’14, but hey it was for a good cause.” And that no one really gives a rat’s ass whether you can actually grow facial hair or not—it’s about the journey, not the destination. Side note: From someone who has nose hair that grows at the rate of bamboo, that’s a blessing, not a curse.
Now pair up all that vanity (and fear of facial failure) with a healthy dose of testosterone-infused competitiveness of the kind that only ad guys can muster, and you have all the makings for the kinds of stories that make Movember such a unique (and often hilarious) means of raising awareness and money. Yeah, it comes down to money, as this is all about the funds fight to prevent and treat men’s cancers. You know, the ones that tend to f**k up our junk and then kill us.
Dollars aside (not really—give them to us!), and regardless of all of our insecurities, our busy, over-scheduled lives and blatant vanity, I have always found that everyone here, male, female, young and old-ish, brash and quiet, rallies around the idea that doing something for good for thirty days straight is a powerful and important thing, even with the odd looks (is that a dead caterpillar?) and bleeding razor cuts (I bought a straight razor year 3—bad idea) and jokes about one’s downy lip fuzz (please stop referring to it as “hairless cat–stache”).