In 2015 Sport England launched #ThisGirlCan campaign to target women aged 14-40 and encourage them to increase their physical activities during the week.
Their research had found that fear of judgement was the main reason stopping women from exercising and that it was complex enough to be divided in three sub-categories:
#ThisGirlCan was aimed at women of all shapes, sizes and levels of ability, and hoped to help them leave their inhibitions aside, which was a big ask. However, Lisa O’Keefe of Sport England, recently said that the campaign’s biggest struggle in 2015 was convincing the sports community to back the initiative. She explains:
“People just didn’t understand. It was only when [the ad] first came out and the way in which it showed the insight was right and important that the industry said ‘Oh we get this now’.”
And how right were those insights! By the end of 2015 the social reach had exceeded 23 million and inspired 2.8 million women to get active, rising to over 4 million women active by 2020. However, perhaps the biggest shift has been cultural, and a big part of why we consider it to be a Genius Campaign.
As Lisa said in 2020:
“It feels like a very different world compared to when we started in 2020. Fear of judgement is much more topical now than it has ever been and there is much more debate, which is good.”