Magazine article Marketing

Profile: Playing to Emotions - David Andrews Marketing Director, Virgin Radio

Magazine article Marketing

Profile: Playing to Emotions - David Andrews Marketing Director, Virgin Radio

Article excerpt

David Andrews' tale of how he came to be in the radio business either heartens or sickens those who hear it, depending on whether or not they are stuck in a dull job themselves.

A huge music fan who spent his teens dreaming of stardom, Andrews ended up in his second-choice career, working for British Gas in Solihull. Part of his job was to buy media on local radio stations, and he found that his meetings with the sales people at Birmingham's BRMB station were getting longer and longer.

'I was fascinated. We would have these long chats about radio, then after a while I would remember what I was there for.' When BRMB's management offered him a job as its marketing director he all but bit their hands off.

So it is hard not to believe Andrews when he says he is in his dream job as marketing director of Virgin Radio, combining his love of music and radio.

He has even managed to continue in his role at EMO (Events, Marketing and Other Stuff), the company he set up in his pre-Virgin days that organises tours for bands such as Kasabian and Stereophonics. He spends four days a week at Virgin and crams his EMO work into the rest of his time.

Oliver Lewis-Barclay, strategic partner at Hooper Galton, who previously worked with Andrews on ads for Virgin Radio, describes him as 'Tiggerish', adding: 'He is so full of energy that I imagine his team probably need to sit him down and give him a Valium.'

Virgin announced last week that it had poached multiple Sony Award-winning DJ Christian O'Connell from London station Xfm to host its breakfast show. 'I feel like a Premiership manager,' Andrews says. 'We got O'Connell but have also hung on to Pete and Geoff (the current breakfast DJs). Christian's great - he's going to be the next Chris Tarrant.'

He hopes that O'Connell's entrance is one more part of the jigsaw that will persuade people that Virgin Radio is not just a rock station. Under the slogan 'The music we all love', he is pitching the brand to consumers and advertisers as representing 'the new mainstream'.

'Bands like Coldplay, Keane and Snow Patrol that are central to our playlist used to be regarded as indie music but have now overtaken pop as the music most people want to hear,' he says. …

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