Words and pictures can change minds. That’s why they’re so powerful. But working in and around sport and physical activity, I have seen how some well meaning campaigns fail to hit the mark. Words that haven’t quite done it or images that fail to inspire.
The ‘This Girl Can‘ campaign (funded by Sport England) stands out. Great care has been taken with the images. Strong agencies with backgrounds in behavioural change have delivered a fun and powerful creative. No models have been used in the print or video, so we can enjoy some great ‘behind the scenes’ content from the women involved. This ‘case study‘ approach has long been championed by the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation. Fewer women than men are active, and surveys cite fear of judgement as one of the barriers to getting involved. But a surprising number of health, sports and physical activity promoting organisations (including some national governing bodies) still use stock shots in their materials. Or confuse the celebration of elite athlete success with inspiring the rest of us to take part.
There may be a discussion to be had on the use of ‘girls’ to mean women but on the strength of the refreshing images and the aims of the campaign, it’s easy to support ‘This Girl Can’