9-10 MAY 2018 | EXCEL | LONDON
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We wanted to showcase normal women and I was clear from the start we shouldn’t feature athletes, because they’re so far from our everyday experiences Joseph worked to enable Sport
Tanya Joseph • architect, this Girl Can You were the architect of This Girl Can. How the campaign come about?
had been telling us, we found a host of
When I joined Sport England in 2012, the
reasons. Most were the kind of things
organisation didn’t have a communications
you’d expect, like not having time, not
relationship with the people it was trying
liking their body, not knowing the rules,
to influence – the consumers.
not wanting it to be too competitive, etc.
I was keen we should have a relationship
England to influence consumers
When we looked closely what women
We looked at this and realised, overall,
with real people – the people who matter
women are exhibiting a fear of judgement,
for us. The organisation is judged entirely
of what other people will think about
on how successful it is at getting people
them, and they’re also judging themselves.
active, but it was relying on its investment
That was the lightbulb moment for us.
70 per cent of women were interested in doing sport. We wanted to know what was stopping them from our everyday experiences. And that’s their job – to be extraordinary.
partners, and there was a general feeling
and tell their stories, and use a tone of
gender imbalance in sports participation,
What were the key strategies used to change the behaviours of such a large population?
which, at its worst, meant 2 million fewer
To start with, we developed a manifesto
fun and sassy and a bit tongue-in-cheek.
women than men were doing sport or
that said that women come in all shapes,
being active at least once a week. This Girl
sizes and levels of ability, and it doesn’t
Were you surprised by the success?
Can was born of a desire to change this.
matter if you’re expert or rubbish, the
It was extraordinary. We started with a
point is simply to do something.
very soft launch. We just did social media
We wanted to do a really non-
– we put a couple of videos up and didn’t
Sport England had been collecting data
judgemental campaign that says to
promote them at all to start with. Within
for a really long time, so we had the
women: “you’re not alone in feeling all of
a month we had around 2,000 Twitter
last Active People survey and evaluation
these things, and here are some examples
followers and I was really happy with that.
reports from a whole host of previous
of women who have found ways of
Then we launched the above the line
interventions. One of the most powerful
overcoming that fear of judgement”.
campaign starting with a 90 second TV
that we needed to change that. I was struck by the fact there’s a huge
What barriers did you identify?
pieces of data was 70 per cent of women
I was clear from the start we shouldn’t
We wanted to showcase normal women voice that would resonate with women –
ad during Coronation Street. And we went
saying they were interested in doing sport.
feature athletes or celebrities, because
from having 2,000 Twitter followers to
So, one of things we really wanted to know
frankly, although we love our athletes and
20,000 in a matter of hours. Since then the
was what’s stopping them?
we want them to do well, they’re so far
community has just grown and grown.
Issue 2 2018