Health care organization uses mustaches to raise awareness for men’s health

More men are making the health decisions for their family.

Until now, women were the main decision makers in the household regarding the health of their family, but with more men staying at home to raise their children, this responsibility is shifting. Are the marketing efforts at your hospital or physician group addressing this shift in gender roles?

More men are serving as the main caregiver

The reversal of gender roles where women are the breadwinners and men either work part-time or stay home with their children isn’t a new concept, but because many men lost their jobs in the recession and the cost of child care is steadily increasing, it is becoming more common.

An article by Carol Hymowitz illustrates this gender shift. Hymowitz states that 23 percent of women out-earn their husbands, 32 percent of men regularly care for their children under the age of five, and 20 percent of fathers with preschool-age children serve as the main caregiver.

Due to this change, more health care marketing messages need to be targeted to men, both for themselves and for their children.

Movember encourages men to grow mustaches

One example of a health care organization that has done a great job communicating with men is Movember. Movember aims to raise awareness and funds for men’s health by encouraging them to grow mustaches during the month of November. They secure sponsorship from friends and family, and the mustache becomes a conversation starter among peers.

As is stated on their website, “Men are known to be more indifferent towards their health… As a result, today the levels of awareness, understanding and funding for support of male health issues, like prostate cancer, lag significantly behind other causes.”

Movember aims to “put a fun twist on this serious issue,” and give men a way to talk more openly about their health and cancer. Movember has been very successful at reaching younger demographics, who rarely think about their health. The humor behind the movement draws them in, and quickly, growing a mustache is now cool. Regardless of how men view it, getting them to talk about their health is really all that matters.

A version of this article originally ran on Smith & Jones Advertising & Brand Strategy blog.

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