A funky ad for Sport England, the UK government’s non-departmental public sports council, has apparently inspired 2.8 million women to do more exercise.
Launched one year ago, the ‘This Girl Can’ ad campaign has been incredibly well received, and FCB Inferno, the ad agency behind it, said the idea sprang from research that suggested women were far less likely than men to take up sport.
The TV ad shows women of all shapes, sizes and abilities sweating it out at dance classes, netball games, in the pool and on outdoor sprints.
And set to the soundtrack of Missy Elliott’s ‘Get Ur Freak On’, what’s not to love about it?
The TV ad formed part of a multi-million-pound campaign that also included billboards, online ads, press ads, and a dedicated website with information on how to participate in sport, as well as featuring catchphrases like ‘Damn right I look hot,’ ‘I jiggle, therefore I am,’ and ‘Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox’.
According to Marketing Week, stats released this week show that 2.8 million 14-40-year-old women who recognise the campaign say they have done some or more activity as a result, while 1.6 million say they’ve started exercising.
The findings come a month after Sport England’s ‘Active People’ survey, which found that 148,700 more women were active for at least 30 minutes once a week, every week in the 12 months up to September 2015, compared to the 12 months up to March 2015.
Sport England’s chief executive Jennie Price said in a statement she was “very encouraged” by the newly-released figures, however added that there’s still a bucketload of work to be done to improve gender parity when it comes to exercise.
“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 that women come in all shapes and sizes and levels of ability, and they should all feel able to exercise and play sport,” she said.
Sport England’s director of business partnerships Tanya Joseph told Marketing Week, “We are delighted the campaign has had such a great start but completely recognise that we have a long way to go”.
“For so many people, including a lot of women, sport is not something they feel comfortable with, it’s not a choice that they make. We want sport to be a normal thing.”