'This girl can' goes international with campaign for Australian women

Australia is adopting Sport England's "This girl can" campaign to inspire more women down under to get active.

This girl can: extending to Australia
This girl can: extending to Australia

Sport England has teamed up with VicHealth, a health foundation based in the Australian state of Victoria, for a three-year partnership aimed at reducing the gender gap in physical activity and helping women overcome their fear of judgment.

VicHealth will create a localised version of the campaign, called "This girl can Victoria", by sourcing stories of real women doing sport and exercise. It will launch on national media in February 2018 with a new TV ad featuring Victorian women, as well as online advertising, posters, radio and social media.

Research by VicHealth found that more than 41% of Victorian women over the age of 25 are too embarrassed to exercise in public, with one in five doing no physical activity during a typical week. Three in five Australian women participate in less than 30 minutes of physical activity on four or more days a week.

Kate Dale, the strategic lead of "This girl can" for Sport England, said the Australian campaign would not be a "carbon copy" of the original because the idea "relies on showing ‘women like me’". The new ad will depict local women participating in local activities in an Australian setting.

Since launching in 2015, "This girl can", which is funded by The National Lottery, has inspired 2.8 million women in England to get active, according to Sport England. The campaign returned in February with a second ad, which was again created by FCB Inferno and directed by Kim Gehrig through Somesuch.

Dale said Sport England was surprised by how much the "This girl can" message resonated internationally. The organisation is looking to expand the campaign with more international partnerships beyond Australia.

"We are trying to normalise everyday images of women being active, so the more we can have those images, it all comes back here as well," she said. "It helps to build momentum here as well as down under."