Insights in health & wellness branding


Celebrating Inktober and Movember

22 November 2019   |   Gretchen Kren

Doing good while having fun? Yes, please.

At AbelsonTaylor, the lead-up to winter is highlighted by our participation in Inktober and Movember, two global challenges that help us raise funds for causes dear to our hearts.

Inktober “31 days, 31 drawings” – was created a decade ago to help artists improve their skills and foster good work habits by doing an ink illustration each day of October, themed to a daily “trigger word.”  All works are posted on Instagram as a rolling art show.

We’ve been active in the challenge for four years, but we’ve modified the rules a bit. First, we urge everyone in the agency to participate, do as many or as few drawings as they like, and choose any topics for their creations. We begin publicizing the event in September and provide art supplies and encouragement throughout October.

The second thing we do differently comes at the end of the challenge. After we display the drawings for everyone at the agency to see, we sell them at our annual December Winterfest, the crowning event of our year-round Hearts AT Work CSR program. Some of the images become custom-framed originals, some are transferred onto coffee mugs and tote bags, and some end up on greeting cards and other merchandise. The art sale is always a highlight of Winterfest.

All proceeds go to charity, the year’s top participants choosing which organizations we support. Last year, we contributed to Elijah’s Promise, a group focused on alleviating hunger and malnutrition, and One Tail at a Time, a dog rescue and adoption group. We raised close to $5,000 for charity in our first three years, which was matched by Hearts AT Work to double our contributions.

Stay tuned to see how much we raise and which charities we support this year. Meanwhile, to see AbelsonTaylor’s 2019 Inktober works, visit

Movember“Changing the face of men’s healthcare” – raises awareness of men’s health issues one moustache at a time.

Starting with freshly shaved faces on Nov. 1, participants worldwide begin growing moustaches to focus attention on diseases that cause high numbers of preventable deaths in men, notably prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental illness. Suicide prevention is also a focus.

Participants visually chart their moustache growth throughout the month of November and solicit donations for the Movember Foundation. Contributions can be made in support of an individual, a team, an allied event (like the donut sale we held this year), or as a one-off donation.

Movember originated in Australia 15 years ago and we’ve taken part in the challenge for nine years. We get lots of help from our women colleagues – this year’s AT team has seven guys and five women. They don’t grow moustaches (except digitally), but they play an invaluable role in building awareness and donations via Facebook and other social media channels. They also help stage the happy hour we hold at the end of the month, when the agency celebrates Movember with custom cocktails like our famous Ron Burgundy.

As with Inktober, Hearts AT Work generously matches what the Movember team raises. Last year we donated $8,550 to the foundation after the match and we’re hoping to do equally well this year.

To check us out, visit the AT Movember team page here For more about the Movember Foundation’s work in the U.S., visit

Audrey Goss, senior producer, organized AT’s participation in Inktober this year as well as in 2018.

Chris Mauck, associate director of interactive development, is heading up AT’s participation in Movember for the second year running.

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About the Author

Gretchen Kren is the Senior Communications specialist at AbelsonTaylor. A 15 year vet in pharmaceutical advertising, with over 10 years experience Coordinating internal and external marketing and communication initiatives. Additionally, she is responsible for all of the agency’s award submissions. Gretchen lives in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood with her husband and three children.