Facebook Ads Case Study: Movember Foundation Canada

Thanks to the new Facebook advertising transparency, Canadians can see all current ads from any Facebook page.  As such, I thought I would do a Facebook ads case study of the Movember Foundation Canada Facebook advertising activity during the month of November.

In my opinion, Movember Foundation Canada really did a great job in promoting their cause on Facebook during the month of November.  The following is a quick analysis of their advertising campaign, but if you are just curious to see samples of their ads, then go straight to the bottom of this blog post.

Objective of Facebook advertising:

The objective of their ad campaign was obvious and consistent – to promote the importance of men’s health and generate donations.

Focused advertising message:

Their advertising message was able to grab the audience’s attention because it was short and impactful.  For example, even though they had multiple ads on Facebook running simultaneously, the majority of their ads had quick statistics about men’s health that were really hard to ignore.  The consistency of their message was also well done.  Not only was their message consistent from ad to ad, even though the wording was slightly different, the imagery and font were consistent as well.  After having seen a few of their ads, you could spot one of their new ads a mile away just by glancing at them, and that’s what you want as an advertiser – quick recognition and instant recall.  You want people to gain some familiarity with your brand, and frequency and consistency of messaging is key.  That is the key to recall and a great start towards brand attachment.

Emotional component:

Although some of their ads were more of a direct reminder to donate, the majority of their ads provided frightening statistics about men’s health.  You couldn’t help but think of the men in your life, and how you did not want them to end up being one of those statistics.

Images in Facebook ads:

Movember Canada ads used a lot of imagery that were consistent, yet used interchangeably.  Sometimes they used imagery of proud men with mustaches, sometimes the men were with their children, partner and father.  But the man with the mustache was always the centre of attention.

Video in Facebook ads:

I really liked that they used various videos as well.  Many of the videos were either just a few seconds or below the 30 second mark, which was long enough to get their message across, but short enough to for even those with short-attention span to watch the video.  I don’t have statistics for the Movember campaign, but from other ad studies, we know that people lack attention therefore the shorter the video, the more likely people will watch it in its entirety.

Donate Button in Facebook ads:

Movember Canada had a clear call to action with their Facebook ads, and that was made clear to the audience with their frequent usage of the Donate button.  Of course it is more likely for a viewer of an ad to take action if that action is made clear to them and is easy to accomplish.  Facebook provides various call to action buttons on their ads.  Take advantage of them and use them when you place an ad on Facebook.  Some call-to-action buttons, such as the donate button, are for specific page categories.  For example, only pages that are under the not-for-profit category may have access to the donate button.  And even then, you may not have access to the button that you want as Facebook may be rolling them out over time.

CEO had a message in a Facebook video ad:

Too few companies take advantage of their own people when it comes to videos posts and video ads.  Your people are the ones who are the most passionate about your cause.  Those who are passionate will appeal to your target audience.  Hats off to the Movember Foundation Canada CEO who took the time to leave a personal message to the target audience.  We hope to see more of that from other organizations as well.  If clients or donors get to know you on a personal level, you will have an opportunity to tap into their emotional side and typically this will make your clients / donors like you that much more.  The downside, of course, is that if there is a lot of turnover that is perceived by the target audience, they will wonder what is going on and they might not always feel as attached to one person as they do to another.

Reminder of deadline:

During the final week of November, Movember placed several ads reminding its target audience that there were only 3, 2 or 1 days left before the end of Movember, again with a call to action button to donate.  This was a clever way to work on the emotional side of those within their audience that work best under pressure, trying to get in as many last donations as possible.

What could have they done better?

Overall, the Movember Foundation Canada Facebook ad campaign seemed to be well coordinated and implemented.  We cannot comment on the effectiveness of the ad campaign because we do not have access to their analytics, but we can make an educated assumption that the organization was happy with the results, because they had the option to do less or even stop the ads, but they kept up their advertising level which indicates that Movember Foundation Canada was at the very least satisfied in reaching their objective.

There was a contest advertised during the month of November.  That seemed to have gotten lost with all the other ads taking place during that time.  However, this was not the focus of the advertising objective.  It is clear that the objective was to raise donations, so it is easy to see why this contest was not advertised to the same degree as the donation ads.

Personally, I would have liked to see a few ads of women and children talking about their father, husband, grandfather, uncle, friend, etc…  I mention this because I was part of their targeted audience.  On many occasions, I saw their ads pop up on my Facebook account, and several other online networks.  This was fine, except I felt many of the ads were talking to my husband, my brother, their buddies, and so on.  I would have liked to have seen perhaps 10% of their ads with women promoting better health options for the men in their lives.  My point is, if you’re going to include me in your target audience, then talk directly to me, at least from time to time.

What did Movember Foundation Canada get out of their Facebook ad campaign?:

With the multiple variations of ads created for their Movember campaign, I am certain that Movember Foundation Canada has a much better idea of the text and imagery that best appeals to their target audience.  Without their advertising statistics, it is difficult for us to evaluate which ads worked best for them, but considering that they went strong throughout the month with all these ad variations, three things can be assumed with a fair amount of certainty:

  1. Movember Foundation Canada knows what appeals to their target audience more than ever before.
  2. Movember Foundation Canada probably knows how to customize their targeting options in order to reach their ideal target audience more than before.
  3. Movember Foundation Canada probably did pretty good in terms of receiving donations from this campaign, because they obviously spent a fair amount of money on it and if it had not produced enough donations, they either would have reduced or stopped their campaign efforts.  This was not the case.  To the contrary, although I do not know how much they spent on their Facebook ads or how far their reach was for their targeted audience, I do know that they maintained a high level of ad variations throughout the month, which indicates to me that they were at the very least satisfied with the results.

Here are samples of their ad variations that were seen on Facebook throughout the month of November.  Note that they advertised on various other online and traditional media as well, but the focus of this blog post consists of their Facebook ad campaign.

Movember Foundation Canada Facebook ads:  Quick message and statistics


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Movember Foundation Canada Facebook ads featuring images with men:


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Movember Foundation Canada Facebook ads to encourage last minute donations:


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Movember Foundation Canada Facebook ads featuring CEO and ambassador:


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Note that I am not affiliated with Movember Foundation Canada nor its marketing agency. None of these ads were created by me. I am acting strictly as a viewer who was impressed with what they saw and thought others could learn from this as well.

What did you like the best of their Facebook ad campaign, and what would you have changed?  Leave us a comment below.

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