Nice use of the mo in print advertising

There’s an effective tactical ad for Artline pens in the S section of Sydney’s Sun-Herald today – but I wonder if the Movember charity will really get the benefit.  

Artline Movember Sun-HeraldIt’s a simple idea – buried within the social section is a right hand page that follows the same fonts and layout as editorial pages – except all of the people featured have had moustaches doodled onto their faces.

Only then do you realise it’s an ad for Artline to tie in with Movember with the message “You can make every month Movember” (You can click on the image to see it larger).

It was a clever joke, which certainly worked for me as a reader.

Normally pages designed to fool the reader that they’re reading real editorial are frowned upon. ( The word “Advertisement” in the top right hand corner doesn’t cover it when the rest of the design is so close.)

So I’m making a couple of assumptions: First that somebody on the editorial team got to approve it rather than having it slipped past them. I’m guessing they provided more leeway than usual because it ties in with a good cause such as Movember which focuses on men’s health issues.

And second that Artline is sponsoring Movember in some way, as the reader would certainly assume. (Mind you, they don’t seem to appear on the Movember website as a sponsor we’ll try to get clarification of that come Monday).

(Update: A spokesman for Movember tells me: We have no relationship with Fineline and knew nothing of the planned advert.” She points out there have been occasions where other brands have incorporated mos into advertising and made a voluntary donation.)

My guess is that the agency behind the ads is BCM Sydney, which previously created a series of topical executions for the brand.

Regardless of the behind-the-scenes story, it’s a very effective newspaper ad.

Tim Burrowes


  1. version
    30 Nov 09
    12:39 pm

  2. I saw this yesterday and thought it was for Movember. I didn’t realise it wasn’t editorial and did not even look at the strip linking it below.

  3. pete
    30 Nov 09
    1:55 pm

  4. I saw this yesterday and didn’t even realise the mo’s were drawn on until I read this article. I thought they were just fancy-dress accessories. Never even noticed the strip at the bottom. Shame. The idea is okay.

  5. Andrew Juma
    30 Nov 09
    2:25 pm

  6. Excellent, love it!

  7. sven
    30 Nov 09
    2:32 pm

  8. great idea and clever to tie in with a cause in order to get editorial approval and engender some favour with target audience – although it’s a bit stinky that they’re not voluntarily donating to Movember – the PR people should have piped up….

  9. Brona
    30 Nov 09
    3:05 pm

  10. Very clever. I saw another Movember related ad last week one from Veet in the Telegraph – “His Mo is for charity, what’s your excuse?” Made me laugh