Six Marketing lessons from #ThisGirlCan Campaign

1. Truth is everything

At the heart of the success of the #ThisGirlCan campaign lies not a complex algorithm but a simple human truth; fear of judgement. Vicki Holgate, head of strategy at FCB Inferno, the agency behind the campaign, explained that despite the fact that 75% of women say they want to do more sport a myriad of factors was holding them back; from fear of what they look like, to the competing pressure to look good and guilt that accompanies new motherhood. Yet the underlying theme which drew all these concerns together was the fear of the judgement of others. In line with this the campaign aimed itself squarely at increasing women's confidence to increase the likelihood of them participating in sport. The power of this campaign lies squarely in its understanding of women.

2. Embrace the shift from campaigns to campaigning

Sport England's Joseph said from the outset it was clear the group needed to create a campaign which could be owned and shared and ultimately take on a life of its own. "This was not Christmas in July, we weren't launching a product, this was about campaigning, not a single campaign."

3. True shareability has a life beyond content

There is no doubt that #ThisGirlCan is a phenomenal social success story; generating over 25 million total campaign views and almost 200,000 interactions.

FCB Inferno's seeding of the campaign was particularly impressive with a content-first approach which saw real women's stories get the message out as to how fear was holding women back from participating in sport. The agency also developed a bespoke algorithm which monitored the points in social conversation where women were hesitating and procrastinating about sports or exercise, enabling #ThisGirlCan to send a timely motivational tweet.

4. Empower your consumers and partners

While many brands have been quick to adopt the language of community very few have built a genuine and engaged community around their brands. In many ways #ThisGirlCan's greatest marketing achievement is in building and nurturing a community of support and inspiration.

At the heart of this was creating a digital library of shareable assets which have been utilised by over 4,000 partners and sporting organisations in the UK.

5. Embrace the great perfection defection

#ThisGirlCan ran its casting calls not at Storm Models, or at any other organisation where the impossibly beautiful convene. Instead the team went from sports centres and swimming pools across the country in order to find true and authentic stories and role models. The best women to challenge the stereotype that women can't do sport was the women themselves.

6. Let your content free

When you create a campaign based on challenging not a competing brands, but the very assumptions which make up the fabric of our society the stakes are higher. Inevitably you are vulnerable to criticism. (Indeed some commentators and academics have taken umbrage at a campaign targeting 14 to 40 year olds labelling its audience "girls".

Yet such is the strength of the #ThisGirlCan community that consumers have leapt to the brands' defence. In fact the team has identified a new phenomenon; instead of being at the mercy of twitter trolls 'Tinkerbells' have jumped in to defend the ideals of the campaign. Arguing the fact that academics find being called a girl offensive is part of the very reason the campaign is so important.

Article via Marketing Magazine - by Nicola Kemp, 25.03.2015