The local pilot in Greater Manchester identified the need to develop a simple, positive, asset-based marketing approach with tools to support and enable physical activity behaviour change at neighbourhood level.

In order to support this, Britain Thinks were commissioned to complete an initial research piece into attitudes and behaviours around physical activity, with a focus on the three key audiences in the local pilot.

Initial Research

Some of the key findings from this research piece:

  • Physical activity is often interpreted narrowly.
  • Few are aware of specific activity guidelines (150 minutes for adults per week - WHO guidelines) but can make a reasonable guess.
  • There is clear recognition of the benefits of activity, though short-term benefits can be more motivating than the reduction of longer-term health risks.
  • Many of these barriers are exacerbated because ‘activity’ is often associated with relatively strenuous exercise which can seem both daunting and unenjoyable to the least active residents.

Britain Thinks suggested key recommendations for a GM-wide marketing campaign:

Further details please contact

  • ‘Bite size’ target to aim for
  • Language used in campaign is key – decide between moving Vs physical activity.
  • Focus on short term benefits (sleeping better, boosts to mood etc)
  • Tailor messaging to the three pilot key audiences

GM-wide campaigns

Considering these key recommendations, a campaign was produced, That Counts!which later became Keep Moving.

The marketing campaigns aimed to tackle the challenge head-on in the region. They aimed to deliver whole population behaviour change – with a specific focus on the most inactive groups.

The great news was that the early indications are that the approach was working.

Just three months into the two-year campaign, research showed it had increased the intention to exercise and self-reported activity levels had risen: 26% of people said they were inactive before the campaign; three months later this dropped to 22%.

82% of people who had seen the campaign said they were doing more activity than the minimum – compared to 76% who were unaware.

The challenges of Covid-19 interrupted the campaign plans but awareness of the campaign held strong to pre-covid levels.

The campaign specifically encouraged people who were inactive to become more active by re-framing what it means to be physically active and importantly it raises awareness of the amount of activity people should aim to complete each day (30 mins for adults and 60 mins for children and young people).

Get involved

The campaign has a GM-wide toolkit with locality specific photography, audience specific tag lines and pre-written copy for each audience. All the resources are available for boroughs in Greater Manchester to use via our GM Resource Hub.

Local campaigns

In 2023, GM Moving are adjusting their marketing efforts to focus on smaller geographical areas. The GM Moving team have commissioned Diva Creative to work with Stockport, Oldham, and Salford in 2023/24 on marketing objectives which support their existing Local Pilot work on the ground.

Further updates on the progress of this approach will be available in due course.

Materials and assets from previous GM-wide marketing campaigns are still available via the GM Resource Hub should local boroughs or other organisations wish to utilise or adapt them for use in their local area.