GIRLS LET’S SWIM

Brand Voice Workshop

Sporting House was a group of companies with disparate purpose…

They needed a strategic comms approach that would bring all the brands together and tell their story in a meaningful and impactful way. 

Smoking Gun took the organisation through the Brand Voice process – a series of workshops – realigning what they stood for, developing a clear proposition, messaging, values and tone of voice.  

Investing in the Brand Voice process upfront meant the brand had a set of guiding principles and audience insight which would drive innovation into the PR programme and increase impact, resulting in a bigger voice and greater ROI…

Getting to the campaign

There’s lots of evidence that highlights girls drop out of sports participation at twice the rate of boys by the time they finish puberty. 

There are many reasons why this is:

  • They’re not encouraged to participate as much as boys
  • Lack of confidence – ‘don’t feel good enough’
  • Embarrassed by body changes and periods 
  • Social stigma – if they’re good and want to progress to a competitive level – they may develop a more athletic physique. As a result, some experience bullying or don’t feel like they fit in with the media’s image of an attractive female athlete 
  • Not seen as ‘cool’
  • Lack of strong/ confident female role models to look up to
  • Lack of access to facilities and cost

As a brand that inspires change and breaks down barriers for children to reach their true potential, Smoking Gun identified a need for Sporting House to tackle the alarming rate in which girls drop out of swimming.

As Sporting House was a grass-root sports provider, we needed to find a way to engage and inspire (parents of) younger girls in this campaign.

Campaign idea

The ‘Girls Let’s Swim’ campaign was created to engage young girls and their parents on the benefits of swimming across all aspects of their life, reinforcing the message that swimming lays the foundations for success in life and when you swim you can achieve anything. This message would hopefully inspire young girls to keep on swimming as they got older. 

Objectives

  • Create and drive conversation for Sporting House around the topics of swimming and girls taking part in sport 
  • Position Sporting House as an authority on swimming for children 
  • Secure impactful media coverage in quality national titles 
  • Raise awareness of the Sporting House brand
  • Increase direct bookings and lead generation for the group 

Campaign Execution

To launch the campaign, Smoking Gun created an emotive fast paced film, starring Olympian Becky Adlington and a group of women and children. The film focused on what swimming gave them, for example – confidence, friendship, determination – and how it can shape them. 

A survey of parents of 11-18 year olds was also carried out to understand the barriers, drop-out rates etc. 

The research found – 79% of girls aged 11-18 now spend less time swimming, with Covid and other barriers to blame. And, 72% of parents admitted to being too busy to encourage swimming.

This data was used in the press release to bolster the rationale for the campaign launch. 

The timing of the launch was everything – Smoking Gun timed the campaign to go out just ahead of the Olympics to capitalise on the demand for an Olympian Spokesperson. 

An exclusive interview was secured with PA, followed by a day of broadcast interviews with Becky. 

A campaign web page was created to gain quality backlinks and drive traffic. 

Real life case studies of girls/ women who swam/ gave up or rediscovered their love of swimming were utilised on the campaign page to provide further press and social content.

Empowering campaign photography of the stars of the video were used across social media channels, Instagram and Facebook – each image was overlaid with text as to why the girl/ woman swims and what it gives them, for example – ‘I swim because it gives me confidence’…

A paid social strategy across Facebook and Instagram was also executed to drive views/ clicks. 

Rebecca Adlington also used her network of celebrity influencers to share/ engage in the campaign content with athletes such as Jess Ennis and presenter Gabby Logan sharing the video.

Results:

112 pieces of coverage, including 7 national and 11 broadcast pieces with the likes of Channel 5 News and ITV lunchtime news featuring the story.

Potential reach – 566m.

The paid social campaign drove 33,000 video views and a reach of 98,000.

X12 celebrity influencers such as Mark Foster, Jess Ennis, Judy Murray and Gabby Logan all shared the campaign launch video. 

Most importantly, the client saw swimming bookings increase by 2800%.