This Girl Can: women feel 'liberated and empowered' by those just like them

Sport England is tapping into its burgeoning social community to spearhead the next stage of its ground breaking This Girl Can campaign, designed to increase women's participation in sport.

This Girl Can: women feel 'liberated and empowered' by those just like them

The sporting body has created a This Girl Can web app, which is designed to encourage and support women to create and share their own personalised version of the advert.

Social Proof

The app has been produced in response to a growing trend in the community to share images of their own sporting achievements on social networks. Tanya Joseph, director of business partnerships at Sport England, says:  "Women want to share their achievements and have that social proof of their efforts and we are simply enabling them to do this more," she explains.

They will be able to upload their own images of their sporting achievements and match them with campaign straplines such as ‘hot and not bothered’ and the This Girl Can logo. The images will then be used on digital outdoor sites across the country.

This Girl Can

Commercial partners

In addition the sporting body has inked a deal with Marks and Spencer to sell a limited-edition This Girl Can T Shirt. The shirts will be priced at £12.50, with £1 from every shirt being donated to the This Girl Can campaign.

Sport England’s Joseph says that the partnership was the result of demands from the This Girl Can community for merchandise.

Purpose Marketing

However, the organisation is treading carefully. "What we don’t want to do is foist product on our community lots of brands have come to us but there needs to be a clear purpose," she explains.  "The fact is we are not selling a product, we are selling an idea which makes our relationship with our audience more authentic," she explains.

Obtainable Goals

The TV spot will also be returning to screens from today; with a primetime spot during Coronation Street celebrating real women doing sport, with not an airbrush in sight.

"Our research showed that women do respond to female athletes in 

advertising but they are so far away from their own experience that they don’t actually relate to them," explains Joseph. Instead they feel "liberated and empowered" by women just like them who may not achieve the greatest athletic achievements but have the courage to put themselves out there.

The highly successful campaign was based on comprehensive research which revealed that fear of the judgement of others waspreventing women from participating in sport. The advertising campaign, which has quickly morphed into a social movement is based on the simple manifesto: "Women come in all shapes and sizes and all levels of ability. It doesn’t matter if you’re rubbish or an expert the point is you’re a woman and you’re doing something."