We entered the world of exercise as a force to be reckoned with - and remain so to this day. This is our story so far…
The first step was to talk about the fear of judgement and help women realise they were not alone. To achieve this, we launched a nationwide campaign featuring real women – on TV, in cinemas, across social media, in print and on billboards – with the aim of motivating as many women as possible to share their experiences and empower them with the confidence to exercise on their own terms.
A dedicated This Girl Can website and app was launched to provide helpful advice and signpost women who want to be more active - with women everywhere encouraged to talk about and share their stories using #ThisGirlCan
We also extended the campaign to include women aged 40-60 for the first time, as research showed us that fear of judgement resonated just as strongly with this group as it did with younger women.
The campaign was adapted to include older women and slower-paced activities - and to address concerns shared by women aged 40-60, such as not being as good as they used to be or being too old to start something new.
The campaign addressed the perception that ‘real women like me’ are rarely shown exercising in the media or on TV, as well as the practical challenges women face, such as not having enough time, feeling too tired, or the high costs of gym memberships.
Fit Got Real showed real women of all shapes, sizes, ages and ethnicities doing exercise their own way, no matter how unconventional, including - running around a park pushing their child in a pram, hula hooping at home, jumping into the sea, trampolining with friends and teaching themselves how to swim using YouTube.
The films feature real families from our This Girl Can community as well as popular Disney songs from the movies.
Released during half term, the Disney Dance-Alongs were shown on the This Girl Can YouTube and Disney channels and promoted across social media, providing a fun and engaging way for families to get active together at any time.
Bringing out the often unspoken, shared experiences we all have, our ground-breaking ad introduced five new women from the This Girl Can community to show the unfiltered reality of women’s lives.
Showing everyday women getting active – no filter, no airbrushing - the pioneering, taboo-busting ad went all out to feature breastfeeding, menopause and periods with the aim of reaching more women and girls in a relatable, unapologetic way.
Edited to reflect the Covid-19 situation at the time, the ads went out with a clear message – being active now is more important than ever.
Disproportionately affected by the pandemic financially, and with a greater burden of care and increased levels of worry and anxiety, women found returning to activity even more of a challenge.
As part of the campaign, we introduced ‘Sistagram’ which found women in the ad collaborating with female influencers on Instagram to encourage conversations around exercising during lockdown – with our social community becoming a place for women to share their experiences of being active during the pandemic and offer support to one another.
The free video-on-demand programme enables teachers to break the traditional PE mould and deliver fun and engaging activities found to be popular with teenage girls - such as yoga, boxing, Pilates and dance - inspiring even the most uninterested girls to take part.
With many girls losing interest in sports and exercise as they become teenagers, and 55% of girls aged 13-16 failing to meet the government's daily activity guidelines, Studio You was created to inspire positive attitudes toward physical activity that reach well into adulthood.
The downloadable guide – How to improve your services for women and girls: as told by the 51% – includes practical ideas and recommendations to help gyms and leisure facilities appeal more to women, as well as help close the gender activity gap.
The guide has been welcomed by leading fitness operators who look to improve membership numbers and retention by taking on board some of the key recommendations.
Launched in response to a survey – which found that 74% of pregnant women or women with children under one year feel nervous or anxious when it comes to physical activity – Active Mums Start With You was developed to make it easier for healthcare professionals to offer advice on how to exercise safely, and as a way to encourage new mums to get more active.
Inviting women to “Come and do your worst”, This Girl Can Classes offered group exercise in a non-judgemental environment where women, regardless of fitness levels or prior experience, could feel comfortable and confident. Where a wiggle the wrong way, or a jiggle in the joggers brings joy, not judgement. Where a step out of line is a celebration.
We created a This Girl Can club – our first on Strava – inviting women to ‘Make Your Comeback’, celebrate the joy of moving again and share their experiences within a safe and supportive space. It might be a countryside hike, a jog with a friend, or a walk in the park – there’s only one right way to get active, and that’s what is right for you.
Launched to address the enjoyment gap, which finds that men enjoy being active more than women, the focus is on four main action areas – Social, Suitable, Self-Affirming, and Safe – helping more women to feel that becoming active is a rewarding, pleasurable experience.
This guide provides practical steps for facilities to help create an environment where women and girls feel safer and more confident being active.
The period hub for teachers was also complemented by a student-facing resource hub on the Bodyform website. It features a guide debunking period myths and providing advice on being active throughout your menstrual cycle.
The partnership was supported by a co-branded television ad during the Women’s Euros called ‘no blood should hold us back’.
Using case studies, tips and insight, we encouraged women to get moving in a way that works for them.
Alongside this, we were joined by running clubs across London for a 5K evening Let’s Lift the Curfew run, accompanied by our digital screen displaying quotes from women expressing how they feel about getting active outdoors in daylight compared to darker days and nights.