“I kick balls, deal with it.” That’s just one of the in-your-face rallying cries for a new media campaign, including a popular new video, aimed at encouraging more women to get involved with sports and exercise in England, and around the world.
Sport England, otherwise known as the English Sports Council, launched their campaign, This Girl Can, on January 12 in an effort to, as their website states, “inspire women to wiggle, jiggle, move and prove that judgment is a barrier that can be overcome.”
Authentic and entertaining, the accompanying video challenges the stereotypes set by the beauty and entertainment industries as it features women of all ages, colors, shapes, and sizes, exercising like there’s no tomorrow. They’re seen hurling themselves across football pitches, sweating on spin bikes, boxing, swimming, dancing, and whooping as Missy Elliot’s ‘Get Ur Freak On’ and Karunesh’s ‘Solitude’ play at a manic tempo throughout the 90-second video.
Sport England worked with UK creative agency FCB Inferno on the campaign, which is based on research that found 2 million fewer women than men are regularly exercising, despite the finding that 75% of women from age 14 to 40 stated they’d like to exercise. To convey the notion that exercise is, indeed, normal for all women and not just those perfectly shaped Olympic athlete types, Sport England connected with seven women to highlight their lives and their relationships with exercise.
“Any woman will tell you about the internal dialogue that goes on in her head, particularly when she thinks about sport, exercise and getting fit,” Sport England CEO Jennie Price told The Telegraph upon the launch of This Girl Can. “It’s stuff like ‘I’m too fat to do this,’ or ‘I’m not fit enough to go to that class,’ or ‘If I get on that treadmill and press that button and fall off, I’m going to look really stupid and everybody is going to stare at me, and I’m certainly not going to wear those clothes to do it.’ We are trying to say it’s perfectly normal to feel like that, don’t beat yourself up about it.”
Since its launch on January 12, the video has 1,131,487 views, 6000 of which happened during the time it took to write this post. Accompanying the video is a microsite with personal profile videos of the featured women (they can also be viewed on the campaign’s YouTube page.) The site also has a section where anyone can dig into hundreds of forms of exercise, get an overview of specific exercises, how much it might cost and find out how to begin.
The campaign is also designed to be shareable, with a socially-fueled section of the site entitled “Feel Inspired” where content tagged with the campaign’s hashtag, #ThisGirlCan, is pulled from Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Vine, YouTube and Google+.
Check out the video, above, and visit thisgirlcan.co.uk for more information about the campaign.