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Always #LikeAGirl - Keep Playing

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Insight 

Puberty is no picnic for girls – the wealth of physical and emotional changes leads over half of all girls to lose confidence. Always launched the iconic #LikeAGirl campaign in 2014 with the mission of stopping the drop in confidence girls experience during puberty. 

Sports is a proven driver of confidence with women being twice as likely to be confident if they play sports regularly. Yet research found that 68% of girls felt that society did not encourage them to play sports. And shockingly half of girls quit playing sport at puberty; a time when it could benefit them the most. 

In June 2016 Always launched #LikeAGirl–Keep Playing across 42 markets to encourage girls to keep participating in sport and to continue Always’ mission to make puberty a moment that propels girls forward. Who says sports aren't for girls? Always’ says girls can play any game, on any field! 

Strategy 

Starcom's strategy was to reach girls in relevant moments to empower each of them to keep playing sports and to continue to target millennial women, younger girls, and their parents.  

In 2016, it had the perfect context for our campaign - the Olympic Games. But, the games are a cluttered, costly and competitive environment. Therefore, the main focus was to establish the brand message in the run up to the games, and then capitalise on conversations during the Games in order to be relevant and impactful.  

To ensure sufficient reach and engage more girls across the world, Starcom broadened the media strategy beyond video seeding and branded social. The additions of TV, cinema and print at launch delivered best in class Top of Mind Awareness results across the majority of the markets.  

To make the message more personally relevant, it partnered with >90 influencers worldwide, including Olympic Athletes from 30 countries. These influencers complemented the pre-Olympic message with real-time social posting during the games, celebrating when Olympians showed what means playing #LikeAGirl. 

Top performing reactive posts included UK’s celebration of Laura Trott fourth gold medal (three posts, 8.4 million impressions), North America’s Sportsmanship Post (2.8 million impressions) and 16 real-time stories from Chinese Olympians delivered >60,000 engagements from readers and media. 

Execution 

Five weeks before the Olympics began, the agency seeded the hero 60’’ video across 42 markets leveraging YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and PR. Then, in July and August, it used TV & Cinema to broaden the appeal of the #LikeAGirl film reaching new audiences and delivering even bigger impact. #LikeAGirl Keep Playing exceeded 50% reach in seven of the brand's top 10 markets for the first time ever.  

Once the conversations were heating up around the Olympics in August ‘16, Always rallied girls to Keep Playing #LikeAGirl across social channels (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). Its 30+ Olympians urged, encouraged and inspired young girls. They pledged they will keep playing sport by updating their Facebook profile pictures, shooting videos or tweeting using #LikeAGirl. These market relevant Olympic sports stars helped to build trust and authenticity whilst further amplify Always’ message.  

Retail integrations around the world brought social purpose to point-of-sale giving thousands of girls access to sports equipment and provided encouragement and opportunity. Strong partnerships with key retailers in Russia, USA and UK further increased the campaign engagement and reach, driving business results. 

Results 

The video achieved 200+ million views across the world, reaching >50% of women across top-five markets. The story was featured in 1,300+ media placements generating 12.6 billion media impressions globally—with stories in Huffington Post, CNN.com, Mashable and Yahoo!  

Influencer content struck a chord with posts generating significantly higher engagement rate vs. Always owned content, with 12% engagement rate, +11pts vs. Always average. 

And retail partnerships drove significant sales uplifts in the USA, Russia and UK. 

But most importantly Post-campaign research showed that: 
94% girls/young women agree Always #LikeAGirl has encouraged girls to be more confident. 
70% of women now understand young girls would be more confident if they were encouraged to play sports (+13% vs. pre-campaign) 
Campaign encouraged +16% more 16/17-year-olds to play sports.

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