This Girl Can 2020
This Girl Can 2020 is leaving no woman left behind in the latest instalment of the campaign that confronts how society must change in order to accommodate all women being active.
In this phase, we’re introducing new cast members and stories while bringing back some of the women who’ve prominently featured in past This Girl Can ads, showing how we’re still as relevant today as we were five years ago.
But this campaign also shows that there are a host of new barriers that need addressing in 2020. We’re moving beyond just covering the emotional and practical barriers that might stop women from being active – we’re now tackling societal barriers that can prevent women from feeling like they can join in.
The realities of motherhood, periods, menopause, and LGBTQ and disability inclusion – these are all necessary conversations, and ones intrinsically linked to sport. By tackling these topics with the characteristic honesty and irreverence of the campaign, we’re hoping to spark further discussions, get people talking, and help more women find ways to be active as it suits them.
Our TV ad went live on 17th January, immediately drumming up international attention and inspiring women in England and beyond. It shows real women defying some of society’s most entrenched judgements, all with our infectious ‘don’t give a damn’ spirit. This includes a mother breastfeeding before heading off to netball, a transgender climber confidently scaling a wall with friends, and a woman pulling up leggings over a visible tampon string before stretching out in yoga – a first for an ad not selling sanitary products.
We followed this up with OOH and content films that told our the stories of our new women and explored the societal barriers they busted through in greater depth. And on International Women's day, we released a rallying cry for 2020 online and (the following week) in a special edition of Stylist Magazine as a print ad. In a first for the brand, we used solely copy to reveal unspoken truths that many women in our community share, seeking to authentically portray women with words alone.
The reactions were positive around the globe, in industry press and beyond. In addition to receiving accolades from publications like Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Elle, Glamour, and Huffpost, the TV ad was retweeted by the UN Women's Account and celebrities ranging from Dina Asher Smith to Jameela Jaamil. It also picked up 5 Stars on David Reviews and was Ad of the Day on Campaign. And to top things off, we picked up a Wood Pencil at D&AD for our campaigns from 2020 and the years just before.
Here are some of the initial reactions from media as well as the general public.
More importantly, we shifted behaviour. In March 2020, seven weeks after launch, three in 10 women reported getting active as a result of seeing the campaign – a significant increase on the previous 12 months. Women increasingly see activity as part of their routine – 51% compared to 43% in 2016. And fewer women worry about the fear of judgement, down from 44% in March 2019 to 36% in March this year.
This project also won the inaugural Fusion Pencil at the One Show. The Fusion Pencil is a special award for great work that includes underrepresented groups both behind the scenes and in the creative work itself. See below for our cast study.