Did FCB Inferno’s This Girl Can change the world’s idea about what women could achieve physically? Possibly. Certainly, since the campaign launched five years ago, expectations have shifted and attitudes towards women being active have progressed. This Girl Can has encouraged millions of women to get active and has fundamentally influenced how women are marketed to.
The campaign is no longer a unique voice. Brands have cottoned onto the idea that promoting active women is useful for them. It still leads the way in attitude – the aggressive, rebellious, determined female voice of the fifth The Girl Can leaves no woman behind and allows no woman to be excluded. The new campaign confronts the idea that society must change in order to accommodate all women being active.
The new campaign also shows that there is a host of new barriers that need addressing in 2020. The campaign has moved beyond just covering the emotional and practical barriers that might stop women from being active – it’s tackling societal barriers that can prevent women from feeling like they can join in.
“We are once again celebrating women of all shapes, sizes, abilities and backgrounds. This time, however, we’re sharing the stories of women who’ve overcome issues that we, as a society, must overcome together to help more women find ways to be active,” the agency stated.
Throughout the course of the campaign, it will cover topics from menopause to support networks to disability and LGBTQ+ inclusion. For example, Kirsti, a mother of three, finds time to be herself by playing netball regularly, and is partly able to do so because of the support of her partner and the people around her. Hannah has come to feel more comfortable with her body and care less about other’s judgements by using exercise to help manage menstrual pains. Glynnis has been able to rediscover her love of swimming and build up her self-confidence in the pool thanks to facilities and family members who support and cheer her on.
The TVC, directed by Ali Kurr, features the distinctive vocals of British Rapper, Little Simz in the track, Offence, which reinforces that it really is time women stopped having to feel judged, defined by society, and told what to do. The TVC launches on January 17 and is supported by an OOH and a major digital and social push including a series of content films that deep dive into the stories of the women and featured girls.
Tim Hollingsworth, chief executive of Sport England commented, “When This Girl Can launched it was considered trailblazing for the way it showed women getting active in a raw and real way. And while marketing campaigns for sport and physical activity are far more diverse and relatable now, there’s still a long way to go before they are reflecting the reality of people’s lives. With the new campaign we’re showing topics that are part of the everyday for women – challenges they can relate to. We’ve seen the powerful effect this can have in giving women more confidence with previous campaigns, and will continue to advocate for better provision and share insight with the sport and physical activity sector on how to address the gender gap.”
Sharon Jiggins, executive vice president at FCB Inferno, added, “This Girl Can became a movement because we struck a chord with how women feel and five years on its impact is felt well beyond the realm of exercise. This is proven daily in social media by women using the hashtag to feel confident and empowered. We have also seen many brands make seismic shifts in how they portray women in advertising. But as much as we have made great strides forward, the fear of judgement still exists. And although in 2020, some of the barriers to exercise might have shifted from 5 years ago, the need for This Girl Can is still very much apparent. And we address these barriers head on in this new campaign, tackling judgements that need to be acknowledged and talked about.”
Ali Kurr, stated, “This Girl Can got me thrashing a boxing bag for the first time and loving it, and so to be able to encourage others to get active via such an important and brilliant campaign was a directorial dream come true. For This Girl Can 2020 we have focused on five key stories about how women getting sweaty has improved their periods, menopause to general wellbeing.”
Agency: FCB Inferno
Chief Creative Officer: Owen Lee
Creative Partner: Al Young
Senior Copywriter: Sarah Lefkowith
Senior Art Director: Nicole Chen
Senior Editor: Jude Moore
Head of Artwork: Richard Bagley
Joint Design Lead: Sarni Strachan
Designer: Max Fox
Executive Vice President: Sharon Jiggins
Senior Account Director: Emily Whiteaway
Account Manager: Becky Glover
Strategy Director: Laura Pirkis
Senior Strategist: Tom Lindo
Director of Production: Nikki Chapman
Creative Producers: Hanna Davis & Russ Mallows
Production Company: Partizan
Director: Ali Kurr
Producer: Rosie Litterick
Production Manager: Jack Bristow
DOP: Molly Manning Walker
Still Photographers: Lauren Maccabee & Adam Hinton
Photographers’ Rep: DMB Represents
Editing Matt Nee @ Metal Editing
Post Production: Unit
Producer: Isabella Wakely
Senior Colourist: Nick Dolby
Casting: Leanne Flinn
Flame: Ian Baker & Rob Ellis
Audio: Jamie Thomas
Animation Studio: Schultz Schultz Grafik