Introduction

Diageo is the world's largest premium beverage alcohol company, with over 200 brands (including Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Baileys, and Tanqueray) present in over 180 countries with 30,400 employees and annual turnover of over £18bn.

This is a story about how a combination of research, cultural insight, and learning science was used to identify how to portray gender in our communications more progressively across all of Diageo's brands and markets.

We all learn about who we are, how we understand others, and our roles in the world through culture - how we see our friends and family behave, and what we see and hear in all types of media including the press, online, film, television, and of course advertising.

Women have historically been underrepresented in popular culture, including film, television, music, theatre, and print - both in lead roles and behind the scenes. We wanted to address this imbalance in our brand communications. This is in line with our company's purpose to 'celebrate life every day, everywhere' and our ambition to be one of the best performing, most trusted, and respected consumer products companies in the world.