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You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to Do More

You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to Do More

The start of a New Year is always filled with the best intentions. Resolutions are made with the hope of turning personal goals and ambitions into action.

However, if you’re like me and find it a challenge to change your spots, by now you’ve most likely cancelled your gym membership and returned your spandex. So how do we translate good intentions into actual behaviour change that sticks?

There’s no doubt that the greatest behaviour change campaigns are those which have quality research and data at their heart. Understanding audience insights is a powerful tool for creating relevant stories that get under the skin of target audience groups for delivering impact.

This Girl Can is a perfect example of an active lifestyle campaign with a compelling message that has reached millions of women with a call to get active, and fall back in love with exercise and sport.

Bringing a simple yet powerful message to life with the aim of influencing behaviour change was a proposition put forward to Stripe and our partner The Leith Agency as part of our activation of Strathmore water’s latest Do More Challenge campaign.

The purpose of the campaign was a simple one – to encourage Scots to get active and lead healthier lifestyles.

Research revealed that lots of barriers exist which prevent people from engaging with exercise, including accessibility, time and convenience. While we discovered there is no one size fits all approach, people were more likely to engage in activities that felt inclusive and open to all ages and abilities, as well as being affordable and fun to participate in.

The campaign focused on promoting participation in cycling, swimming and running, and to help reach more Scots we recruited the support of Olympic and Paralympic heroes, cyclist Katie Archibald, swimmer Ross Murdoch and wheelchair racer Samantha Kinghorn.

Known as Team Strathmore, the athletes launched the Strathmore Do More Challenge to encourage Scots to reach for their trainers, hop on their bikes and put on their swimwear, with a competition to win a once in a lifetime training experience with our Olympic and Paralympic stars.

Running on Facebook, Twitter and via a targeted media partnership, entries flooded in from across Scotland. Winners were chosen based on the best photos of them taking part in one of the three sports. 36 winners, from Dundee to the Isle of Bute, attended the events which were held in Glasgow at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre, Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome and Emirates Arena.

Video credit: Gavin Sturgeon

Thanks to Katie, Ross and Samantha and their coaches, the events were a fantastic success and an example of how the positive role of athlete ambassadors can help brands to engage more deeply and create memorable experiences with their audiences. The personal experience of watching an Olympic gold medalist hurtle round the Velodrome track also had a profound effect on my own training goals. Since then I’ve been inspired to start cycling to work.

OK so it’s only been a week, but a simple message delivered in a dynamic and engaging way can shift perceptions – because doing more is actually easier than you think.

Modern Dating: Time to show it some Tinder loving care

Modern Dating: Time to show it some Tinder loving care

If you have ever asked your parents how they met, you might be met with some romantic story about how they spotted each other in a bar and one of them plucked up the courage to start a conversation. Maybe your dad later found the courage to pick up the phone to give her a call, all the while praying that it wasn’t her own dad that picked up the landline first. Fast forward to 2017 and it’s definitely changed in terms of how our means of communication has evolved.

Now, when our kids ask us about how we met our significant other we might be relaying stories of how we both swiped right on Tinder or that daddy saw mummy on Instagram and sent her a DM.

Okay, the hopeless romantics of you might hark back to a more Hollywood approach involving rose petals and grand acts of romance and bemoan the impact modern dating apps such as Tinder, Happn and Bumble have had on our propensity for showing some sort of romantic inclination. Yes, there has been a big change in how we approach dating in the modern era. People do still meet strangers in bars and ask them out on a date but it’s more than likely that they have already ‘stalked’ them in some way on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn. Romance is still alive, it’s just now publicly documented on our Facebook for us all to see. I mean, how many proposals and choreographed first dance videos have we all watched?

The undoubted shift in this change of attitudes has been driven by technology. However, there is a certain snobbery surrounding dating apps and online dating. There is often a stigma attached to those who use them but those attitudes are changing. In 2000, around 100,000 people had online dating profiles in the UK. Fast forward to 2015, that number had reached 7.8m. It has been claimed that there are 26 million matches a day on Tinder across 196 countries. With the ‘Tinder economy’ worth almost £12bn to the UK economy, who are we to look down on those that use it?

Unsurprisingly, following the rise of digital, the number of couples who met their partner online has skyrocketed and was the third most popular way of meeting your romantic partner in 2009. What is most refreshing of all this is that the boom in online dating has helped more and more same-sex couples meet. In the US, 70% of same-sex couples admitted to meeting their partner online.

On some dating platforms, there is a certain degree of anonymity that means there isn’t that fear of being outed and you can meet someone who is in the same situation. Dating apps may not have the romance of meeting your partner at a farmers market as you both reach for the last punnet of strawberries and your hands brush against one another but online dating and dating apps have undoubtedly helped a generation find love.

So technology has broadened the dating pool. We are no longer limited to meeting someone on a random night out. It’s why a peely-wally Glaswegian boy can meet a gorgeous girl from Cincinnati, Ohio and no one will bat an eyelid. People will complain that there is no exclusivity in modern dating but it means people can be more bold and adventurous. Dating apps might lack a certain romance but they have empowered a generation. The great success of modern online dating is that it has helped people find love in the most unlikely of places.

Dating apps and online dating may come with a certain reputation but it is time to embrace dating and technology and show it the tender loving care it deserves.