Moustache Police: From March Pitch To Movember Campaign

November 25, 2013 Ben Myers

When the Moustache Police come knocking, you best stash your ‘stache.

The Movember police force, a creation of BBDO Toronto, was conceived and pitched at Dx3’s 24-hour Microsoft Advertising Challenge in March 2013. Fittingly, the campaign made its debut this November, months after its conception and the pitch-off that spurred its creation.

Five participating creative agencies had just over one day to conceptualize and pitch their ideas, based on a brief from Movember and Microsoft. The campaign is being shown across Microsoft’s major ad network assets including Skype, Xbox and Windows 8.

BBDO Toronto sent Spencer Dingle, Jordan Hamer and Derek Blais to the event armed with research on Microsoft’s advertising properties and a case of Redbull. Tim Welsh joined the team following the successful pitch.

“A lot of them worked well into the night,” said Adam Lanteigne, Creative Evangelist at Microsoft’s Advertising Division.

Up all  night

“When you have a 24-hour competition like this, you just have to make sure that you get enough rest the day before because you know you’re going to be up all night,” said Welsh, BBDO’s SVP of Creative Operations.

“We just basically locked ourselves in a room and painted the walls with ideas and all the good stuff floated to the top, and we ended up with the Moustache Police,” Dingle, Art Director at BBDO, added.

Largely based on the format of Cops, the series that ran from 1989 to 2013 on Fox, the episodes show the Police busting perps for growing unregistered moustaches. Movember organizers wanted to encourage men to register their moustaches and join teams of fundraisers rather than participating only in the cosmetic sense.

“You don’t really have a choice to sleep if you want to do it right”

“All of us were actually up the whole night producing the deck,” Welch continued. “You don’t really have a choice to sleep if you want to do it right, so you just have to brainstorm, get an idea that you like, drink a lot of redbull, and hope that you don’t fall asleep before you finish.”

moustache-police-2

The Moustache Police idea stuck around during the brainstorming session because the style of the idea matched the intended audience so well, said Jordan Hamer, the copywriter behind the campaign.

“The target is one that really wants to be entertained and is into that type of humour, or that type of connection, so when we came up with the idea of the Moustache Police, it really felt like it would resonate with our target and it solved the brief about as well as anything we came up with,” Hamer said.

Working with Microsoft

Before the competition, the BBDO pitch team made a visit to Microsoft to explore the advertising capabilities of the platforms on which the campaign would run, including Skype, Xbox, Windows 8 and MSN.

“There was a really tight integration of how the various Microsoft properties were being used along each slide. So as the idea was being explained, there was a nice connection between which tactic of the idea was connecting to each Microsoft product.”

“It really came down to the big idea”

“I think one of the things we did that went a little bit above and beyond was that we looked at other Microsoft products and other Microsoft technologies that could potentially be used,” Welsh said. “There was one idea within the deck that used Xbox Kinect, and although that wasn’t in the brief it was definitely a way to show that we’re thinking about Microsoft in a whole way as opposed to a specific product.”

“It really came down to the big idea,” Lanteigne said for selecting the winner. After getting the go-ahead from the Movember global office in Australia, the BBDO team selected a director and shot as many episodes as possible on a single day.

“We wanted to make sure that we could do as many episodes as possible, keep the production value as high as possible and not cut any corners that way, while still doing it in a very expedited timeline,” Dingle said.

Growing with the campaign

So far, the campaign has garnered tens of thousands of views across Youtube and Microsoft platforms with little paid promotion outside of the Microsoft placements.

The Moustache Police have already taken the BBDO team off their list of violators, with all the members of the creative team registering and growing moustaches for the cause. “The entire company got behind the cause to donate time and resources,” Dingle said.

On the Moustache Police website, participants can print off their Moustache licenses with proper descriptions for colour and style including ‘Midnight Delight’, ‘Whiskey Whiskers’, and ‘Abracadabra’.

At time of writing, Canada leads the worldwide Movember fundraising board with more than $15-million raised.

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