This Girl Can: Sport England’s campaign influences 2.8m women to be more active

Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign influenced 2.8 million UK women into engaging in a more active lifestyle in the year since its launch, according to an independent study from TNS BRMB.

After the monumental reception of This Girl Can in 2015, The Drum’s Katie McQuater dissected the campaign, going through the logic behind the push with creators FCB Inferno.

She found the drive made a bold creative statement and recent research has found it successfully encouraged women of all backgrounds, ages, shapes and sizes into sport and other healthy activities on behalf of Sport England.

The study found that 2.8m women aged 16-40 who were aware of This Girl Can engaged in “some or more” activity. TNS surveyed 1,000 women in November. Of these, 1.6m women had actually started exercising for at least 30 minutes a week, every week, as a result of the push.

With taglines like ‘I jiggle, therefore I am’, ‘Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox’ and 'I kick balls, deal with it', the creative captured the imaginations of people across the globe.

Since its launch on 12 January 2015, This Girl Can films were viewed 37m times across YouTube and Facebook, with over half a million females reportedly joining the This Girl Can social media community.

It has been mentioned in over 110 countries according to social media analysis.

Karen Keohane, Director of Us Girls, an initiative from charity StreetGames intent on getting young women active, said: “This Girl Can has helped change the way women’s sport is perceived, especially at a grassroots level. For me, one of the main positives to come out the campaign is that sweating is normal and goes hand in hand with exercise.

“It might sound silly but we hear again and again from the young women at Us Girls sessions that they’re worried about how they’ll look when they exercise. For example, they’re anxious about looking red, hot and sweaty or having to wear a certain type of clothing to fit in, and it puts them off altogether.”

“There is also an important social side to sport – our research revealed that if their friends don’t go, 63 per cent of young women won’t take part in sport at all. Getting active doesn’t have to be about slogging away at the gym - whether it’s Zumba or football, physical activity can be a fun and definitely sociable.”

Jennie Price, Sport England’s chief executive, said: "I’m very encouraged by these new figures... they show This Girl Can is not just being talked about, but is also changing behaviour.

“But the job is far from done. With a gender gap of 1.73 million fewer women playing sport compared to men, we need to keep getting the message out there."

The campaign ultimately featured on The Drum’s New Year Honours 2015: Best creative campaigns.

Search The Drum Jobs

Explore the best jobs in Marketing and Media industries
View all open jobs

John McCarthy

John is an entertainment marketing reporter at The Drum. He writes about the amazing marketing stories coming from the movie, TV, music and video game industries. He's also the hunt for the weirder trends in marketing and advertising.

Fuelled by tea.

All by John