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”).
We’re an agency built on purpose. While we each find purpose in our own and differing way in our personal lives, it is the intersection of our purpose as an agency and our purpose as caring and creative men and women with ideas that make a difference that really makes this month such a meaningful one for those of us participating. And the same is true, I hope, for every one of our friends, family and colleagues who support and buoy us. It’s a lesson that we get to re-learn every year; it’s one that we pass on to our new fellow employees and something for which I and my fellow Mopack team members are grateful to experience. Even if we don’t always have the words to say it. Guys can be like that.
So keep it up, GSD&M and friends! Give to MoPack or your favorite team member (click here!) if you can, share our “La Uniceja” telenovela spoofs with your social networks, ask your friends and family to give, post crazy Instagram photos, write a moving story or tell a funny tale, tell us how we can do more, offer up a fundraising idea. Or simply thank someone for participating.
Because in this family, as in all families, it’s often the small efforts that mean the most.