Inspired by the efforts of gents across the world who cultivate moustaches annually, we decided to create a giant moustache to raise awareness of Movember. Men working at Southampton Airport have been supporting the chairty for four years now, raising thousands of pounds for this worthwhile cause. They’ve dyed their moustaches crazy colours and had ‘best mo’ competitions – much to the delight of our passengers. This year we wanted to use our space and captive, airborne audience to really get behind Movember and do something special for the fantastic supporters who work here and travel through the airport.
When I had the idea to do something massive, I didn't think it would actually happen! I have always been supportive of Movember, getting behind male friends and colleagues to help raise money and awareness of the charity, but without being able to grow a Mo myself, I felt I had to do something bigger than ever before. Us marketing-and-PR-types always come up with grand (sometimes ridiculous) ideas, but I was lucky to have the support of my collegues around this fabulous airport to help make it a reality.
It really wouldn't have been possible without the help of some very generous organisations, who gave their time and resources for free - not to mention the backing of Movember UK themselves. Our colleagues based at the airport from PH Warr helped get the ball rolling by calling in favours and helping to plot the iconic Movember moustache shape using their planning & mapping software. Once we had arranged for the grass to be cut, we just needed help marking out the shape in real life. This is where Dyer & Butler came in, using their expertise to precisely plot every point of the Mo in the ground. I had no idea it'd be done to such perfection - they used GPS systems and computer-aided design systems to get it just right. And finally we brought in line-marking specialists, Pitchmark, to apply white paint with their expert sprayers, pretty much 'joining the dots'. The whole process took three (rather long) days, many sleepless nights, hundreds of cups of tea, several takeaway pizzas and then, despite the weather attempting to stop us, we eventually had a Mo that Southampton Airport and Movember UK could be proud of.
But on the ground, the Mo looks nothing like we hoped. The sheer size of the Mo meant that it was impossible to make out the shape - and quite frankly I was worried that it was going to turn out to be some sort of rude icon in the grass! Luckily the talented folk at UAViate brought along their drone cameras for launch day, giving us some awe-inspiring footage and stills - and reassurance that we'd got the iconic shape just right.
Personally, I'd like to thank everyone in the Marketing & Communications team in which I work, my other colleagues across the airport, those at Movember UK and at the fabulous volunteer organisations for their help in making my dream a reality.
If you like what we've done too, please head over to the Massive Mo fundraising page to donate.
Aerial Video of the Massive Mo
Some fun facts about the Massive Mo