Digital marketing case study – This Girl Can, Sport England’s campaign to get women active

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This Girl Can is a nationwide campaign by Sport England to inspire women and girls to get moving, get active and exercise. There is a huge gap between the amount of men and women doing sport because millions of women and girls are afraid to exercise of fear of judgement. The campaign has a strong empowering message to feel comfortable working out regardless of shape, size or age whilst celebrating women in sport.


Case study summary

• National campaign from Sport England to celebrate women doing exercise regardless of shape, size, ability or age

• The campaign has been hugely popular with the British public, the promo video has had over 6 million views on YouTube in the four weeks since its launch

• The campaign is also popular on social media with women sharing their exercise experiences and encouraging each other using the hashtag #thisgirlcan

The challenge

There aren’t enough women in sport. According to research by Sport England fear of judgement is one of the main reasons stopping many women from taking part in exercise. Two million fewer women aged 14 to 40 years old exercise compared to men of the same age; however 75% of women say they want to be more active. Such disparity doesn’t exist in other European countries and in order to get British women moving, in January 2015 Sport England launched the This Girl Can campaign.

The solution

The This Girl Can campaign is the first of its kind to feature women of all shapes, sizes and sporting abilities that sweat and jiggle as they exercise. It tells the real stories of women who exercise and play sport by using images that are the complete opposite of the idealised and stylised images of women that are used by sports brands such as Nike and Reebok.
The campaign encourages women to beat their barriers. "Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox" and "I kick balls, deal with it" are among the hard-hitting lines used in the campaign to prompt a change in attitudes and help boost women’s confidence.

The This Girl Can campaign incorporates multiple digital channels: a website, YouTube channel, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Vine, Google + and even screening the promo video in cinemas. Using more traditional marketing techniques there are ads on TV, billboards, newspapers and magazines.

The results

The campaign has grown with momentum over the last four weeks since its launch, the short promo film on YouTube has been viewed over 6million times, with huge numbers of fans following the campaign on Facebook (130k+ likes), Twitter (42k followers) and Instagram (5k followers).

The campaign is a huge success, with many women sharing their experiences of getting back into exercise on social media.

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