News & Opinion

News UK & Sky Media team up with Movember Foundation

In the battle to stop men in the UK dying too young, News UK's Bridge Studio and Sky Media have teamed up with leading global men's health charity the Movember Foundation to deliver a cross-platform integrated campaign, 'Be the Difference'. 

Conceived and brokered by Bountiful Cow, the multi-faceted campaign 'Be the Difference' was won through a joint pitch developed by Sky Media, News UK, Wireless and Unruly. Its content-rich approach aims to raise awareness of the causes the Foundation works with including prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health conditions, while encouraging UK men to grow a 'Mo' and the public to donate to the charity for the duration of November.

The campaign launched yesterday (16 October) and will feature elements specially produced for promotion on television and radio. Wireless Group, owners of talkSPORT, will be promoting the campaign through three editions of 'On the Sporting Couch', hosted by sports broadcaster and psychotherapist Gary Bloom. The series will feature interviews with Iwan Thomas (a passionate supporter of the Foundation), Chris Lewis (ex-England international cricketer) and Jason Cundy (ex-Chelsea and Tottenham defender, current talkSPORT presenter and cancer survivor).

Sky Sports have produced a commercial featuring famous sports personalities and presenters including Max Rushden (host of Sky Sports PL Predictions show), Paul Merson (ex-Arsenal and England International footballer and Gillette Soccer Saturday pundit), Alex Payne (Sky Sports rugby presenter), Sean Fitzpatrick (former All Blacks captain and Sky Sports rugby pundit) and Scott Quinnell (former Wales, British and Irish Lions International, and Sky Sports rugby presenter) that will air in the run up to and during the campaign. 

Mark Field, director of Bridge Studio, said: "The Movember Foundation shines a light on very important issues that face men today. We are extremely proud to be working closely with them, Sky Media and Bountiful Cow to raise awareness through our unique campaign. 'Be the difference' is a prime example of how the combination of Bridge Studio, Unruly and Wireless’ creative and innovative solutions work together seamlessly to encourage men across the country to not only be inspired to make a personal commitment by signing up and growing a moustache, but also to donate to a good cause." 

Jason Hughes, head of creative solutions and branded content at Sky Media, explained: "Movember plays a vital role in highlighting male well-being, none more so than mental health. We were privileged to have some of our world-class Sky Sports talent share real experiences and insight in this area to help shine a spotlight to a very real issue to a very relevant audience. This multi-faceted campaign demonstrates the diverse range of creative capabilities Sky Media can provide from social through to linear and online. We’re delighted to be working with News UK for this great cause."  

Henry Daglish, founder of Bountiful Cow, added: "Men are dying too young and the Movember Foundation is working tirelessly trying to stop this tragedy. This pioneering partnership with News UK will be a brilliant engagement platform from which the Foundation will be able to connect with the UK public and really elevate its work in 2017 and beyond. Have no doubt: this will save lives."

Helena Jennison, director of UK marketing at the Movember Foundation, commented: "The state of men's health is in crisis. In the UK alone, on average, men are dying four years younger than women. At the Movember Foundation we are working tirelessly to raise vital funds to deliver innovative, breakthrough research and support programmes that will enable men to live happier, healthier and longer lives. But we can't do this alone. Partnering with News UK and Sky Media is a truly unique and exciting opportunity. It will give us access to a new and wider audience and provide us with the chance to share the incredible stories of the many men and women that support the great work we do. This year, we urge you to get behind our campaign and help us continue to make a difference to men's health."

The campaign will also be promoted across various above and below the line activations including:

  • Sky have created a bespoke VOD (video-on-demand) Movember themed tile, which will include programming content featuring moustache heroes, also included is 'Man Up' a three-part documentary series funded by Movember about masculinity and men's mental health. Access to the VOD tile will be via triggering the red button on Sky TV, the red button will be adapted to include the shape of a 'Moustache'
  • Sky Sports will have in-show integration featuring sports presenters Paul Merson (ex-Arsenal and England International footballer and Gillette Soccer Saturday pundit), Sean Fitzpatrick (former All Blacks captain and Sky Sports rugby pundit) and Scott Quinnell (former Wales, British and Irish Lions International, and Sky Sports rugby presenter) who will grow moustaches in support of the cause
  • The campaign will also be promoted across Sky Sports social channels, as well as the Football Daily network. Content distributed will feature a series of bespoke videos, including seven videos with Sky Sports talent discussing Movember related topics; 'What's your favourite Sporting Moustache?', 'What’s the most important thing you've done for men in your life?', 'Can the dressing room become a place where men's health can be openly talked about?', 'What stops men taking a real interest in their health?', 'What Mo will you grow?'. There is also a very honest piece from Paul Merson on his history with mental health
  • A series of native articles will be published on Sky Sports online and will include interviews with Sky Sports talent discussing why the Movember campaign is important
  • A full takeover of The Sun's 'Dear Deidre' column featuring questions submitted by men
  • Print and online activity in The Sun and The Sun on Sunday Magazine, which will include content providing everything from tips to growing a beard to how to stay motivated through the initial "itch"
  • A digital takeover of Sky Sports, The Times and The Sun online
  • 11 videos produced by Bridge Studio and distributed by Unruly, featuring interviews with individuals and celebrities who have been directly and indirectly affected by mental health, prostate or testicular cancer

With Bountiful Cow almost a year old, Daglish took to the stage at this year's Shift North to give a view from a start-up and share his thoughts on the evolving media industry and newsbrands' role in the mix. You can watch his full session here.

by Lydia O'Neill 17/10/17

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