Hear from Jez Parkes on the creation of Guinness ‘Her Home Advantage’.

Jez Parkes, Senior Consumer Planning Manager – Guinness Global Brand Team, tells us about Diageo’s Progressive Portrayal initiative and his involvement in the Guinness ‘Her Home Advantage’ campaign.

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Tell us about your career experience at Diageo so far.

I have been at Diageo for almost eleven years now and have worked across various Consumer Planning roles on several brands spanning different regions. I currently sit in the Guinness Global Brand Team, and I’m the Planner that looks after the brand in Africa.

Tell us about Progressive Portrayal – why does it matter for Diageo to drive this agenda?

Progressive portrayal really refers to our brand marketing, ensuring that our work reflects the diversity of our cultures and societies. As a truly global company, a diverse employer, and a business with a lot of influence, we have a responsibility to represent all of society in its most beautiful form – and to lead the industry, as we rightly do across many agendas.

For me it goes beyond just portrayal though – who we are working with, who we employ, our agencies, and the intent both in-front of and behind the camera. Whilst the corporate ambition is clear and important, it is worth remembering that we are ultimately a business built on global brands that are weaved into the fabric of culture and society. That’s a huge part of why we have a responsibility in this space.

How do you think our commitment to this agenda makes our employees and prospective future talent feel about Diageo as an employer?

I would hope that they feel proud to work for an employer that takes responsibility and leads the way. Diageo does this across many different agendas too, showing that we are a progressive business that cares, and as an employee, you really do feel that every day.

Tell us more about the Guinness ‘Her Home Advantage’ advert campaign.

‘Her Home Advantage’ is an important campaign that lent on our sponsorship of the Women’s Super League in Cameroon, and our heritage in football, as our canvas to demonstrate that women’s potential is sparked when they have the backing of their home support.

How does this push boundaries and challenge stereotypes – why is this an important part of our journey?

‘Her Home Advantage’ was born from a very real insight that women in Cameroon face cultural barriers to fulfilling their potential – and that the biggest barrier starts at home, with the expectations that are often placed on them.

Our goal with this campaign was to drive change through conversation. It’s a tricky topic that is difficult to broach. However, as with many campaigns in this space, it requires bravery and that is what is at the heart of the campaign. It’s important because we are trying to drive meaningful change.

What has been your involvement in this campaign?

I led a cross-agency team in conjunction with our brilliant local market team, that took the idea from its embryonic form through to being on air in four months. What was inspiring about this idea is that it was predominantly female-led – the creative lead is female, as was the account management team. The agency planning team was female, and the production company was female-owned. We also worked with a brilliant local female Cameroonian Director called Doreen Fonju who partnered with an equally brilliant London-based Director called Simon Freidberg. This was a partnership very much in keeping with the spirit of the whole idea, and our wider company goals to celebrate diversity in our society.

This was an idea about women, created by women.

Any career advice for someone looking to join us?

Do it! We are a very progressive company that really looks after our people, as someone with a young family to support, you really feel that every day. We have amazing brands, the work is really interesting, and there is a ton of opportunity no matter the discipline, function or location. I would advise reaching out to someone here at Diageo if you have any questions – everyone is very friendly!

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