Meet Neil Shah, Global Senior Brand Manager for Smirnoff

Hear from Neil as he discusses his work on the Smirnoff Equalizer campaign which championed women artists in the music industry.


Neil Shah

Neil Shah is a Global Senior Brand Manager for Smirnoff based in New York City. Neil led our Smirnoff Equalizer campaign in partnership with Spotify, which drove awareness and action around the gender disparity in music by analysing users’ listening habits before providing an equalized playlist where artists of both genders are equally represented. Find out why Neil is passionate about gender diversity, and more on what his role at Diageo involves.

What is your current role and what kind of things do you do day to day?

I’m currently Global Senior Brand Manager for Smirnoff based in NYC. Within the role, I work across our brand purpose comms, music strategy, digital strategy and partnerships. My day-to-day is pretty diverse – I could be meeting with an agency to review new advertising, briefing an exciting media partner on a new campaign, in a team meeting to discuss brand strategy and commercial performance or speaking to one of our markets to understand how we can collaborate on a project.

Can you give us a brief account of your Diageo career- any highlights? Main achievements?

Our recent Smirnoff Equalizer partnership with Spotify was a real career highlight for me. The campaign was centred on a cause that’s personally very close to me (gender diversity) and in an area of culture I’m hugely passionate about (music). It involved working closely in partnership with Spotify in a non-traditional and disruptive manner to “hack” their algorithm in order to drive awareness around gender disparity of women artists in music and then empower their listeners to take action. The campaign was executed in collaboration with some of our key markets including: US, Europe, Australia, Mexico & Argentina and achieved strong results; we drove +52% increase of women artists streamed through Spotify as well as  delivering huge shifts in key brand metrics.

Why do you think it’s important to promote diversity and inclusion?

Diversity and inclusion is important to me for two reasons. Giving people equal opportunities is the right thing to do for society, as acknowledging our similarities and celebrating our differences enriches the culture we live in. Secondly, it makes business sense; it’s no secret that diverse businesses across race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and thought deliver stronger results than those that are not.

What do you love most about life at Diageo?

It’s too hard to pick one thing, so I’ll pick my top three! I love the heritage, quality and iconicity of our brands, the openness, intelligence and drive of Diageo people and the massive career opportunities across functions and geographies that the business presents.

If you want to follow in Neil’s footsteps and join our 30,400 strong team, check out current opportunities to work with us.