“I’m too unfit.” “I’m not good enough.” “I look too fat.” “I’m a mum.” “I’m stuck at home.” “I have my period.” There are still women using excuses to avoid getting exercise to get fit and having avoiding exercise feed their excuses. It’s a cycle doing nobody any good.
Towards the end of a year that gave women a new series of excuses, FCB Inferno has created an updated This Girl Can to inspire women to overcome the excuses by celebrating other women who have done so – with their real-life stories.
This Girl Can, which was created by FCB Inferno and launched by Sport England in 2015, aims to close the gender gap around activity levels for men and women and is built around the insight that a fear of judgement – of not being good enough, of not looking the part – and of prioritising the wrong thing are the unifying barriers preventing women from being as active as men.
The refreshed advertising features women from the original campaign and some new faces and aims to inspire by showing them fitting activity into their own lives – in their own way, and in their own time. It includes Katy, 43, who founded Blaze Trails, a community of walking parents and children during lockdown. Walking with her baby on her back and her toddler for company helped her cope with feelings of isolation in lockdown. There’s also Aneesa, a 43-year-old mother of two from South London, who lost her income at the beginning of lockdown so started attending HIIT and dance sessions over Zoom instead. She’s met an entire community of new women as a result.
Kate Dale, campaign lead for This Girl Can, commented, “At the beginning of lockdown there was a sense there was a right way to do it. A feeling like we should all be starting new hobbies and getting very fit. But the reality for a lot of women is that we have more demands on our time, and more financial and mental wellbeing challenges.
“We’re back with This Girl Can celebrating the fact that there’s no right way to get active – there never was. Just like there’s no right way to do lockdown. We’re celebrating all the women getting active in the ways that work for them, no matter what life throws in their way. Saying it’s okay to do it when you want, how you want. The pandemic has given many of us a renewed appreciation for the benefits of mental and physical health, and we hope the film will inspire other women to want to feel that joy of moving, whether they’re jogging with their kids, squeezing in a HIIT session in between meetings or trying to walk instead of getting the bus to get their steps up.”
Sharon Jiggins, chief marketing officer at FCB Inferno, added, “It has been remarkable hearing the inspiring stories that the This Girl Can community have been sharing about how they are managing to stay active despite lockdown throwing up a myriad more barriers. This film celebrates this but also acts as a reminder that the barriers that were there before lockdown are still very much present during lockdown and as we emerge from it. That’s why it is so important we keep talking about those topics such as menstruation and menopause to normalise the conversations around them.”
The stars of the This Girl Can film will also be appearing on the Instagram feeds of leading social influencers and commentators including popular fitness YouTubers, Lucy Wyndham-Read and Tally Rye; journalists, Poorna Bell and Bryony Gordon, and comedienne and TV presenter, Judi Love, who have all given space within their channels to share the women’s stories and drive conversations around women’s experiences of keeping active during lockdown.
The 2020 campaign is running on video on demand TV, social advertising and radio from Monday September 14, and now also provides inspiration, information and ideas for getting active with a new activity finder on the This Girl Can website, which provides accessible options sorted by location.
And as part of the Great British Week of Sport, taking place Saturday September 19 – Sunday September 27, This Girl Can and ukactive will be bringing a unique evening of music and fitness on Saturday September 26, powered by Foundation FM. The evening will be streamed live across Instagram and will feature exclusive workouts and DJ Sets, that people can join from the comfort of their own living room.
Anyone can join in at #BeActive and @GBweekofsport.
The campaign is supported by publicity from Red and media planning and buying from MediaCom and Manning Gottlieb OMD, respectively.
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
Chief Marketing Officer: Sharon Jiggins
Senior Account Director: Emily Whiteaway
Strategy Partner: Laura Pirkis
Senior Strategist: Tom Lindo
Director of Production: Nikki Chapman
Broadcast Producer: Hanna Davis
Creative Producer: Russ Mallows
Production Company: Partizan
Director: Ali Kurr
Producer: Rosie Litterick
Production Manager: Charlie Scannell
DOP: Ula Pontikos
Editing: Matt Nee @ Metal Edit
Post Production: Unit
Colourist: Nick Dalby
Flame VFX: Ian Baker & Rob Ellis
Audio: Chris Southwell
Producer: Tania De Sousa
Executive Producer: Darryl Bolton