Ad drive seeks to combat 'fear of judgment' that stops women taking part in sport

Sport England, the body that allocates public funding to sport, is kicking off a campaign to encourage women to get active, featuring a TV ad created by FCB Inferno.

The 90-second "this girl can" TV ad launched yesterday during the Coronation Street ad break.

The concept came from Sport England research that suggests women are less likely to participate in sport than men, with 2 million fewer women aged 14-40 regularly taking part in sport.

Despite this, 75% of the women in this group said they wanted to be more active. The discrepancy between participation of men and women does not exist in some other European countries.

Jennie Price, the chief executive officer of Sport England, said: "Before we began this campaign, we looked very carefully at what women were saying about why they felt sport and exercise was not for them.

"Some of the issues, like time and cost, were familiar, but one of the strongest themes was a fear of judgment. Worries about being judged for being the wrong size, not fit enough and not skilled enough came up time and again."

Unlike typical fitness ads, the film features women who do not conform to the usual stereotypes. The ad rises in tempo and intensity, with increasingly active and sweaty women getting into their chosen sport.

Al Young is executive creative director, Raymond Chan is art director and Simon Cenamor copywriter. Kim Gehrig directed the ad.

The TV ad forms part of a wider campaign using OOH, cinema, social media and digital screens in shopping centres, with media handled by Carat.

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Case study: How 'This girl can' got 1.6 million women exercising
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1 Case study: How 'This girl can' got 1.6 million women exercising

"This girl can" was based on a powerful insight: that the fear of judgement by others is the primary barrier holding women back from participating in sport.

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