Leo Burnett and Always Encourage Girls to ‘Keep Playing’

By Erik Oster 

Leo Burnett launched the latest in its ongoing “Like A Girl” campaign for Always with the sports-themed “Keep Playing,” released ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Based on the insight that, according to the brand’s research, half of girls quit sports during adolescence, the 60-second spot follows several girls who are determined to stick with the games they love.

“A lot of boys have told me I can’t play rugby, because I’m a girl,” says one such athlete at the opening of the spot, as she’s pictured tackling an opponent. “Keep Playing” goes on to depict a young female weightlifter, shot-putter, boxer and more. “Girls could actually play rugby and they could also be the team captain…” adds the young rugby enthusiast. The spot concludes by inviting viewers to “Show the world how you keep playing #LikeAGirl.”

The timely ad benefits from taking its subjects out of the controlled “social experiment” environment of “Unstoppable,” allowing the girls to tell their own stories in their own environments. Its message is something of an evolution of “Stronger Together,” which celebrated girls’ accomplishments in sports, without dealing as explicitly in the negative attitudes such young female athletes have to overcome. For an example of such attitudes at the their most noxious, one need look no further than the video’s comments on YouTube (or, for your own sake, just take our word for it).


“The Olympic Games are a time when, all around the world, female sports participation is elevated in the public eye. And for that reason, we could not think of a better moment to drive awareness of the critical role sports play in building girls’ confidence,” Always associate director Michele Baeten told Adweek

The brand partnered with American soccer star Alex Morgan to promote the spot. She tweeted it out with a message regarding her own story of discouragement, saying, “At age 13, one of my coaches told me that I wasn’t good enough. As a young girl just wanting to play and do my best, that was difficult to hear. It would have been easy for me to quit, but I wouldn’t be the confident person I am today if I had.” 


Client: P&G Always
Agency: Leo Burnett Worldwide

Mark Tutssel – Global Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett Worldwide and Creative Chairman, Publicis Communications
Judy John – Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett Toronto
Nancy Hannon – EVP Executive Creative Director, Leo Burnett Chicago
Isabela Ferreira – VP Creative Director
Natalie Taylor – VP Creative Director
Amanda Mearsheimer – Associate Creative Director
Gloria Dusenberry – Associate Creative Director
Anthony Brooks – Senior Copywriter
Jillian Lamb – Senior Art Director
Garrett Vernon – Copywriter
Pete Kellen – Copywriter
Luis Marques – Senior Art Director
Darlene White – Creative Resource Manager

Vincent Geraghty – EVP Executive Director of Production
Mary Cheney – SVP Group Executive Producer
Tony Wallace – VP Executive Producer
Adine Becker – Senior Producer
Chris Clark – Director of Music
Alex Stern – Assistant Music Producer
Linda Yuen – Senior Talent Manager
Julie Lewandowski – Production Manager
Nanette Burnstein – Hungryman/Director
Kevin Byrne – Hungryman/EP Head of Production
Julianne Maloney – Hungryman/Producer
Tami Rieker – Director of Photography
Nikki Vapenski – Whitehouse Post/Editor
Luke Morrison – Mill/Colorist
John Binder/ David Gerbosi/ Peter Erazmus – Another Country/Audio Mix

Kristin Hayward – VP Participation Strategy Director

Annette Sally – EVP Account Director
Katie Nikolaus – Account Director
Sarah Kaminsky – Account Director
Ashley Sawatzke – Account Supervisor
Suz Sward – Assistant Account Executive
Raleigh Ward – Assistant Account Executive

Michael Sirota – SVP Associate General Counsel
Tracy Scimeca – Commercial Clearance Manager