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Sport England – This Girl Can 2020

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It's been five years since Sport England's blisteringly honest spot This Girl Can hit the screens, and in that time we've certainly seen a fundamental shift in how some brands speak directly to women.

Continuing the movement's ethos, but addressing additional barriers to entry, is This Girl Can 2020, a similarly biting, cheeky and auntetic film from the brand and agency FCB Inferno.

Shot by Partizan's Ali Kurr, the film (featuring the distinctive vocals of British rapper Little Simz and her adrenaline-filled track Offence) and accompanying campaign not only celebrates women of all shapes, sizes, abilities and backgrounds, but moves beyond just covering the emotional and practical barriers that might stop people from being active, now also tackling the societal barriers that can prevent women from feeling like they can join in.

Sport England – This Girl Can

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Above: 2015's This Girl Can launch film.


Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of Sport England comments, “When This Girl Can launched it was considered trailblazing for the way it showed women getting active in a raw and real way. And while marketing campaigns for sport and physical activity are far more diverse and relatable now, there’s still a long way to go before they are reflecting the reality of people’s lives. 

"With the new campaign we’re showing topics that are part of the everyday for women – challenges they can relate to. We’ve seen the powerful effect this can have in giving women more confidence with previous campaigns, and will continue to advocate for better provision and share insight with the sport and physical activity sector on how to address the gender gap.”

This Girl Can became a movement because we struck a chord with how women feel," adds Sharon Jiggins, Executive Vice President at FCB Inferno, "and five years on its impact is felt well beyond the realm of exercise. This is proven daily in social media by women using the hashtag to feel confident and empowered. 

"We have also seen many brands make seismic shifts in how they portray women in advertising. But as much as we have made great strides forward, the fear of judgement still exists. And although in 2020, some of the barriers to exercise might have shifted from 5 years ago, the need for This Girl Can is still very much apparent. And we address these barriers head on in this new campaign, tackling judgements that need to be acknowledged and talked about.”

This Girl Can got me thrashing a boxing bag for the first time and loving it," states director Ali Kurr, "and so to be able to encourage others to get active via such an important and brilliant campaign was a directorial dream come true. 

"For This Girl Can 2020 we have focused on five key stories about how women getting sweaty has improved their periods, menopause to general wellbeing.”

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