Earlier this year, Brian Hickling joined ATB Finanical as the new creative director.
“Financial institutions are embracing creativity and innovation like never before. ATB is leading the way and I am so excited to be on board,” says Hickling. “Being embedded in the culture of an organization, creatively, is a great opportunity—to get thick insights about the brand, to live it, to live the proof.”
Hickling brings a wealth of experience to the finanical institution, having worked with international brands such as IKEA, NIKE, General Motors, McDonald’s Canada, Bell Canada, Molson Canadian, Rogers Communications Inc., Pillsbury, Moosehead Breweries, PayPal, LG Electronics Canada, Canada Post, Toronto Raptors, Bank of Montreal and Freedom 55 Financial.
Hickling is excited about leading ATB’s creative team, and about having the opportunity to apply his creative energy to one brand. His team includes designers, writers, video producers, digital strategists and communicators.
“I look forward to harnessing that nimbleness. The world moves so quickly now that you need to be faster,” says Hickling. “As the financial services industry faces challenges from disruptors, strategies set out six months or a year before just aren’t going to cut it.”
The move to bring on Hickling is part of ATB’s drive to continue to push the envelope with their visual presence – and the bank’s overall strategy is working. Recently, ATB won two CASSIE awards for an advertising campaign featuring a spoken word artist and businessperson from Calgary.
CASSIE awards are presented to companies whose ads demonstrate a measureable impact on the business. ATB won silver in CASSIE’s services category and bronze in the brand content category for their entry “Amplify Your Business.” The bank was pleased to collaborate with Patton Communications, Joe Media, Six Degrees, Bluefish Studios and Vovia for the Amplify ad campaign.
Committed to being a disrupter in a disrupted industry, ATB has also pushed forward with a new banking initiative by opening The Branch for Arts & Culture in Edmonton’s downtown CKUA building. The Branch will serve Alberta’s creative industries and non-profit organizations.
“We hear feedback from the arts community that they are not taken seriously by banks. With irregular paycheques and inconsistent cash flow, many artists fail to qualify for credit. At the same time, they are working hard, contributing to Alberta in so many ways. We want to use our expertise and resources to help them continue,” says Dave Mowat, ATB’s president and CEO.
Ben Spencer, a musician and ATB’s initiative director for The Branch, adds, “I was never viewed as an entrepreneur, even though that’s how I saw myself. Now I’m in a position to alleviate some of these challenges for a community I feel so connected to.”
ATB Finanical has assets of $50.7 billion and is Alberta’s largest home-grown financial institution. The bank looks forward to continuing to push the envelope, and to showing Alberta how creative, flexible and accessible banks can be when they reach out to the communities they serve.