How Adam Garone won the room at The Art Of Marketing

by Tieja MacLaughlin

“It’s amazing what was started over a few beers with my mates,” said Adam Garone, as he introduced himself at The Art Of Marketing conference in Toronto.

The Australian-born CEO and Co-Founder of the Movemeber Foundation captured the audience’s attention, speaking with a fierce sense of passion about the movement he started in 2003.

Bookended by the stay-true-to-yourself motto of social media star Bethany Mota, and documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock’s theme of transparency, Adam shared his own message of authenticity.

What initially started as a campaign – growing moustaches during the month of November – has evolved into a comprehensive global initiative that has grown astronomically over the past decade from 30 registrants in 2003, to over 4.7 million in 2014.

Movember’s goal is simple: help men live happier, healthier and longer lives. The charity advocates for men’s health, raising funds and awareness for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health. 

Adam’s formula for success?

Brand Love = Honesty + Authenticity + Consistency.

Success has not come without its challenges though. As the organization continues to evolve, branding Movemeber as a foundation, and not just a campaign, has been a key focus.

Movember’s core brand marketing challenge, similar to many organizations, is how to effectively branch out while staying true to the original concept; how to add an extension without disturbing the core.

The Movember strategy?

“Reinvention is the key to longevity.”

Business advice aside, it was, perhaps, Adam’s response to an audience question that was his true defining moment. The question was about his all-time favourite moustache.

Holding back tears, Adam described the moustache of a taxi driver, who had grown his mo following the loss of a parent. He went on to describe the profound impact this had on him, and the inspiration it provided.

It takes courage to speak candidly to a room full of marketing professionals - how’s that for authenticity?

Movember's CEO just earned himself some more brand love.

Tieja MacLaughlin