David Atter refuses to take the credit for the success of Tango, Karen
From vending machine salesman to the force behind the Tango ads, David
Atter has always been a Britvic man. And he’s clearly a caring, sharing
If you chat to Tango’s marketing manager, however briefly, about the
quirky youth drink, he will insist that it was not he alone who sent
sales soaring by 34 per cent. ‘It’s a team effort,’ he explains, for the
third time. ‘It’s a genuine collaboration between Howell Henry
Chaldecott Lury and Britvic.’
Atter is reluctant to name any interests outside of marketing. However,
15 minutes of solid questioning reveals that he enjoys singing, although
only as part of a choir.
Born in Lincolnshire, Atter sees himself as half Scottish because he
spent his formative years in the Highlands. Besides, his seat of
learning was Edinburgh University and he married a Scot. In fact, his
first job - selling Pepsi Cola vending machines - was also north of the
For the past four years, the 28-year-old Atter has been happily
ensconced at Britvic’s marketing headquarters in Chelmsford, Essex.
Having started on juices, and then soft drinks, he worked his way up and
is now running Tango’s expanded stable of orange, lemon, blackcurrant
and apple flavours - both here and abroad.
It was Atter (not alone, of course) who helped steer Tango through its
magical transformation from a sleepy fruit drink to the third biggest
soft drink in the country, and a youth cult phenomenon to boot.
Latterly, he gave the go-ahead for a seriously offbeat campaign to
relaunch Lemon Tango (Campaign, last week).
Though he is happy to row against the mainstream tide in advertising,
Atter is no rebel. He’s an ordinary bloke who lives with his wife and
their three-month-old baby in the Essex commuter belt.
Given Tango’s positioning and ads, you’d think Atter spent a lot of time
at raves and gigs. In reality, he enjoys squash and swimming and is
devoted to his local Pentecostal church.
It just goes to show that you don’t have to be one to sell to one.