GAP Women series of case studies: Campaigns that worked

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Series of case studies - Campaigns that worked

Context & actions taken

Case study N°1 - “This Girl Can” - Sport England - UK

In 2015, the English Sports Council launched a campaign aimed at encouraging UK women to exercise, regardless of their body shape, size, or ability.

The This Girl Can campaign was started with the intention to show “active women who are doing their thing no matter how they do it, how they look or even how sweaty they get.” The campaign’s goal was to encourage more women to participate in physical activities (PA). The campaign was broken down into three phases starting in 2015 and ending in 2021.

The This Girl Can campaign was unique because it didn’t include prominent athletes. Instead, it featured real women of all shapes, sizes, and abilities participating in sports and exercise. It stressed that there is no one way to exercise, and everyone can find a way to be active that works for them.

One of the most effective aspects of the campaign was the hashtag #thisgirlcan, which added a social element to the campaign. Women were able to share their own stories and experiences and encourage each other to get active.


The overall results of the campaign over its 3 phases were 129 million online views, a social media community larger than 700K, and brand awareness growth of 46%. The community created around the campaign was so big that new activities and programs to attract more women in sport and PA are still ongoing – 3 years after its official ending.

The campaign was hugely successful, with over 1.6 million women in the UK starting to exercise. It was relatable, not selling anything, and showed women they could participate in sports and exercise.


The This Girl Can campaign also tapped into a trend that is becoming more and more evident –sports are no longer a “male affair.” Women’s sports are becoming more visible.

This Girl Can - Me Again VIDEO

Series of case studies - Campaigns that worked

Case study N°2 - “Half Fans” - Aguila - Colombia

Context & actions taken

The “Half Fans” campaign was initiated by Águila when the Colombian women’s 2019 soccer league season was going to be cancelled.

The approach this campaign took to fix the disparity in fan turnout between the men's and women’s leagues was to split the league badge on the jersey; half to the men’s team and half to the women’s team.

The idea behind this design choice was to emphasise that if you only support the men’s team and not their female counterpart then you were only half a fan. By both the men’s and women’s teams wearing only half the badge, it got fans talking and raised awareness of the disparity, ultimately achieving the necessary change among Colombian soccer fans.

By making a simple, provocative uniform tweak, Águila, the official beer of football in Colombia, made the disparity plain for all to see.

Half Fans VIDEO


The campaign had a huge impact on the culture and habits of supporters:

+650% attendance in the whole league games.

55,000 fans attended the final match in a historical record.

Fans became 100% fans – supporting both their men’s and women’s teams.

This guaranteed the 2020 and 2021 female league would happen, thanks to the fans’ support.


The Half Fans campaign provides an example of just how strong imaginative sponsorship can be. It worked because the message was simple – “half a badge is half a heart” and cleverly targeted existing audiences of the sport.

Series of case studies - Campaigns that worked

Context & actions taken

Case study N°3 - “20x20 If She Can't see It, She Can't Be It” -

The Federation of Irish Sport - Ireland


From October 2018 to October 2023, the Federation of Irish Sport ran the exciting 20x20 campaign to promote women and girls in sport. The campaign aimed to fuel real cultural change in Irish sport by making women the stars and showcasing their strengths and talents.

The “If She Can’t See It, She Can’t Be It” campaign was initiated due to the issue of how women in sports were perceived in Ireland. They released a short video interviewing young girls and their responses shed light on the issue. Each of the girls named a well-known male athlete as someone they look up to and none had mentioned any female athletes.

The campaign went on for two years with additional initiatives such as #ShowYourStripes, “Just One”, “Audience is Everything”, “Show Your Skill”, and “No Proving. Just Moving”.

The campaign wrapped up with its original documentary, The Long Road, which celebrates the success of the campaign and the difference it initiated in Ireland.

The campaign was very successful both in terms of outreach - over 30,000 people - making women’s sport and women in sport more visible - as well as changing behaviour.

Research shows 20×20 has had a strong impact on Irish culture around women in sport:

80% of the population are more of aware of women’s sport since the launch of 20×20

61% are more likely to support women’s sport since the launch of 2020

75% of men say 20×20 changed their mindset positively towards women’s sport

42% of women say they are participating in more sport and physical activity than in 2018 due to awareness of 20×20

50% of the population and 60% of females say they would be more inclined to purchase from brands that support women’s sport

20x20 | If She Can't See It, She Can't Be It VIDEO

Series of case studies - Campaigns that worked

Case study N°4 - “Stuck In The 80's” - Guaraná Antarctica, Brasil

Context & actions taken

Brazilian drink brand Guaraná Antarctica supported women’s football by developing the Cannes Lion winning campaign, ‘Stuck in the 80’s’, which tackled the gender pay gap in a fun and nostalgic campaign, leading to an equal pay bill being passed in parliament.

The primary goal of 'Stuck In The 80's' was to shed light on the gender pay gap in women's football. Using a fun and nostalgic approach, the campaign aimed to generate awareness, initiate conversations, and advocate for equal pay for female athletes.


The overall results of the campaign are impressive both in terms of qualitative and quantitative data resulting in:

A 40% increase in female participation in football leagues following the campaign.

A 25% boost in female viewership of women's football matches on television and online platforms.

Positive Public Response as social media platforms were flooded with positive comments, applauding the campaign's creativity and impact.

Legislative Impact. The campaign garnered significant attention from policymakers and the public, leading to the introduction and eventual passing of an equal pay bill in the Brazilian parliament.

Empowerment of Female Athletes. Female athletes expressed a heightened sense of empowerment and value as the campaign contributed to changing societal perceptions of women in sports.


The “Stuck in the 80’s” campaign proved successful as it tapped into a nostalgic connection. The use of 80s nostalgia resonated with a broad audience, fostering a sense of connection and understanding around the gender pay gap issue.

Stuck In The 80's VIDEO
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