Strategy Profile Lee Andrews

Group Product Manager-Soup Campbell Soup- Developed two recent TV spots for Campbell's Red and White soups, 'Daughters' and 'Dad does Dinner.'- Developed Campbell's Chunky soup promotion using Toronto Maple Leaf hockey star Wendel Clark.Lee Andrews, 35, began his marketing career in...

Group Product Manager-Soup Campbell Soup

- Developed two recent TV spots for Campbell’s Red and White soups, ‘Daughters’ and ‘Dad does Dinner.’

- Developed Campbell’s Chunky soup promotion using Toronto Maple Leaf hockey star Wendel Clark.

Lee Andrews, 35, began his marketing career in 1986, when he joined Reckitt & Colman Canada as an assistant product manager.

Andrews, who was promoted to product manager after six months, stayed with Reckitt & Colman for three years.

During that time, he worked on the company’s major brands, including French’s Sauces/Condiments and Airwick Air Fresheners.

Before joining Reckitt & Colman, Andrews cut his teeth in the packaged goods industry during a four-year stint in sales with Kraft.

In 1989, he took a product management position with Campbell Soup, working on Chunky soup.

Two years later, he was promoted to senior product manager on Campbell’s flagship soup brand, Red & White.

In April, Campbell’s named him group product manager – soup, responsible for the company’s entire soup line with annual sales of $240 million.

Andrews graduated from the University of Toronto in 1982 with bachelor of arts degrees in economics and political science.

He is two-thirds of the way through an mba in marketing at Toronto’s York University.

We asked:

Q. Are you a believer in marketing by science or intuition?

A. ‘I think facts are critical to marketing effectively, but sooner or later you’ve got to make a decision.’

Q. Was there a significant turning point in your career?

A.’Joining Campbell’s in July 1988.’

Q. Who or what influenced you the most in your marketing career?

A.’Working with Heather Fraser, account director, Ogilvy & Mather.’

Q. What is your favorite marketing campaign (not including campaigns with which you have been involved)?

A.’Nike – all.’

Q. What is your favorite ad (not including ads with which you have been involved)?

A.’Castlemaine XXXX’ [Australian beer commercial].

Q. What do you do in your spare time?

A.’Tennis, skiing, cycling, spending time with friends and family.’

Q. What is the most recent book you’ve read?

A.’Cider House Rules, by John Irving.’

Q. What book influenced you the most?

A.’A Fly Went By, by Dr. Seuss.’

Q. What do you love most about the marketing business?

A.’Every day is different/challenging.’

Creative/Strategic Sense

‘Lee has a constant, relentless focus on the consumer.’

‘He’s a really well-balanced marketer because he has a very good idea of how the trade works based on his sales experience at Kraft. He has the ability to build marketing plans that are executable through the trades.’

‘He is always learning, which is a must in today’s marketing environment. He has a curiosity about how things work, why they work and what makes people tick.’

‘He’s a sharp thinker and he’s willing to take chances with creative when the strategy is good. Creative people go into a meeting with him feeling they are going to be given an opportunity to explain themselves and express their ideas.’

‘He has a really good ability to evaluate creative and relate it back to strategy. Around this shop, [Campbell's] amongst the brand guys, he definitely has the best ability at that.’

Management Skills

‘Lee uses humor to define situations and to get people relaxed and comfortable, so he can get the best out of them.’

‘His management approach is to be a supportive, coach-type of guy.’

‘He can relate to salespeople pretty well because he has a sales background.’

‘He’s a very sort of friendly, straight-forward fellow. You know, there are no hidden agendas with him.’

Business Sense

‘Lee’s approach is he constantly makes an effort to understand the differences in regional markets. If there aren’t any, that’s fine; but if there are, he will try to take advantage of them.’

‘When material is presented to him, he will contemplate it thoroughly. Consequently, when he responds, his comments will be insightful and thoughtful.’

Competitive Sense

‘He’s very ambitious, and I think he’s been successful because of that. But I think his competition is with himself, which is nice for his peers. He always has time for other people and he is willing to share ideas.’

Corporate Future

‘His progress in Campbell’s has been spotless. It has just been superb, so it is pretty obvious that he will become more senior than he is right now.’

‘He’s had a model career, if a non-traditional career. He went from sales to marketing in a small packaged goods firm, which gave him an opportunity to learn and grow quickly. From there, he went on to a large packaged goods company, so you can see he is rising steadily.’

Next issue: Pierre Ranger, director of marketing, Humpty Dumpty.