While seemingly every other cable network is focusing on holiday programming this time of year, the Esquire Network is celebrating something far more primal: the moustache. After all, ‘tis the season to be hairy, as November has become synonymous with Movember, the charitable foundation raising awareness for men’s health.
In conjunction with Movember, the Esquire Network is throwing a ‘Stache Bash, a weeklong marathon of TV shows and movies that spotlight paragons of manly virtue by way of their iconic moustaches, hosted by New York Times bestselling writer and Parks and Recreation star Nick Offerman.
“The month of November on our air is going to be 100% Nick Offerman and Movember messaging,” said Jedd Scher, vice president, marketing, Esquire Network.
Throughout the entire month, the network will be airing a series of vignettes starring Offerman that drive viewers to the network’s Movember-themed programming. Given their masculine viewership, this stunt is as perfect a fit for Esquire as “The Meat Sweeper” ‘stache on Offerman’s chiseled jaw.
“Our audience of cool, stylish, smart guys knows about Movember. It’s not something you have to educate them about,” said Scher.
And of course, Offerman is the perfect choice to shepherd the movement. He has not only worked with Movember in the past, but his Ron Swanson character from Parks and Recreation and the persona that has ballooned out of it has made Offerman the modern-day symbol of the moustache. It’s also no coincidence that Esquire is the cable home of Parks and Rec, a centerpiece of the ‘Stache Bash stunt.
The lineup for the weeklong marathon that begins November 7 and runs through November 13 also includes Michael Caine’s “Crafty Pierre” in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, a slew of Burt Reynolds films such as Sharkey’s Machine (which features the “The Tiger Stripe”) and the only moustache reviled by Offerman, “The Deuce” made infamous by Peter Sellers’ Inspector Clouseau in The Return of the Pink Panther. For exact times, refer to the website’s schedule.
During the programming stunt, custom promos will air before every movie and TV show, featuring Offerman describing the iconic moustache of which you’ll be super jealous. The promos were produced with the BRKLY agency and directed by the comedic duo The Dads.
Nick Offerman’s bonafides go without saying, but his involvement was just what you expect, according to Scher. When sent the scripts for the pieces, he only had one note. For a proposed vignette where Nick would pet his beard in the mirror for 30 seconds, he made a suggestion: “I think it’d be even better if I could be eating bacon while I look into the mirror with my moustache.”
When the final “Mirror Mirror” hits their air later this month (see above for a taste), Esquire will have achieved perfect synthesis between its network, star and partner.
“The partnership has galvanized our network. We’re a network aimed at educated, adventurous, stylish men and the Movember movement is one of the more modern movements that our guys really understand and are really drawn to,” said Scher.
Throughout the month, Esquire’s social team will be rolling out exclusive behind-the-scenes footage with Offerman. The facial-hair folk hero will give advice on how to grow a moustache and provide candid insight on the Movember movement, inviting fans to share the message socially.
To buoy the social front, Movember and Esquire are also partnering with Giphy to create gif-able content using show footage and custom artwork.
But this isn’t just a month-long stunt. Esquire is creating a hub on its website to house the “untrimmed” versions of these vignettes, creating a virtual guide to moustaches. You can also display your handiwork proudly on Esquire’s Moustache Hall of Fame.
“Whenever someone is considering growing a moustache for Movember or otherwise, they can go on the Movember page on Esquire Network and see Nick’s guide to different moustaches,” said Scher. “Our hope is that it becomes a signature destination for the moustache grower.”
Ron Swanson would be proud. Unlike many marathons that feature empty calories galore, Esquire Network has stumbled upon a diversion that actually means something.
“It’s nice to be able to do something for a good cause. You don’t always get that opportunity in show business,” said Scher. “With Nick, and through these movies and shows, we can make people laugh but we can also make people feel good about sitting in front of the TV for a little while, because it’s all in support of bringing attention to the cause.”
Join the Movember cause on the website, and start growing your ‘stache for men’s health awareness, or by tuning in to Nick Offerman and Esquire Network this month. ‘Stache envy has never been more important.