Agency exercises authenticity to inspire women to work out

Has England’s government agency for grassroots sport found the solution to boosting the number of women who exercise? If anything, Sport England’s new marketing campaign, This Girl Can, is certain to grab the attention of female viewers through one crucial aspect for marketing to women: authenticity.

After rigorous research with focus groups and everyday women on the street, Sport England discovered that women’s fear of judgment kept many of them from exercising, says a recent Telegraph article. Utilising these findings, the agency launched a TV campaign featuring fitness experiences of actual women. Females of all ages, colours and sizes are shown as they truly are – sweaty faces, wobbling skin, cellulite, runny mascara – performing their exercise of choice, including boxing, dancing, swimming, running and more.

Using this montage, a catchy pop song, and mantras actually quoted from the women (“Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox”), Sport England hopes to empower women to exercise, while diminishing the ever-present, negative inner dialogue. “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’,” said Sport England CEO Jennie Price. “We are trying to say it’s perfectly normal to feel like that, don’t beat yourself up about it.”

At Venus, we’ve often stressed that being genuine is key to connecting with your female audience, and this campaign is a perfect example. Do you agree? We’d love to hear your thoughts.