• 02.24.17

New “This Girl Can” Film Draws Inspiration From Maya Angelou

The award-winning campaign for Sport England from London agency FCB Inferno gets another strong push starting today.

New “This Girl Can” Film Draws Inspiration From Maya Angelou

The Maya Angelou poem “Phenomenal Women” provides the backdrop for the film at the heart of the second phase of This Girl Can, the award-winning campaign to get women more active created by London agency FCB Inferno for Sport England.


In the new spot which breaks today, a film 90-second film directed by Kim Gehrig through Somesuch, footage of real women and girls playing sport and getting active is used–this time set to a soundtrack blended with narrative by the acclaimed American poet.

Artwork from the new campaign includes personal lines from those women featured. ‘Take me as I am or watch me as I go’, one says.

“This second brief presented us with a huge challenge,” FCB Inferno Chief Creative Officer Al Young admits, explaining that phase two of the campaign expands the target audience’s age range from 14 to 40 to 14 to 60-plus.

“This time around we have focused on the roller-coaster realities of the relationship with exercise – something rarely talked about.”

The first This Girl Can film launched back in January 2015 was conceived to celebrate active women and make the attainable aspirational following research that revealed a fear of being judged held many women back.

That 90-second spot–a stirring celebration of women who aren’t models or sports personalities synced to Missy Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On” also directed by Kim Gehrig–quickly trended to number two on Twitter and generated almost 1 million Facebook views in under 24 hours.


Within a year, it had racked up over 19 million views.

To date, This Girl Can campaign has picked up more than 45 awards including Grand Prix at Cannes, APG and Eurobest and has helped build a This Girl Can community with 700,000 people to date having interacted with the brand on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

About the author

Meg Carter is a UK-based freelance journalist who has written widely on all aspects of branding, media, marketing & creativity for a wide range of outlets including The Independent, Financial Times and Guardian newspapers, New Media Age and Wired.