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ATB’s new creative director ready to live the brand

Posted on: February 20, 2018

When Brian Hickling sees a changing industry, he sees opportunity. The award-winning creative and strategic planner is ATB Financial’s new creative director.

Brian Hickling
Brian Hickling

“Financial institutions are embracing creativity and innovation like never before. ATB is leading the way and I am so excited to be on board,” said Hickling.

Hickling has worked with numerous brands including 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.

Even after 20+ years in advertising and marketing, Hickling has never had the opportunity to fully immerse himself in a single brand. Becoming an ATB team member will make that a reality.

“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,” he said.

Hickling will head up ATB’s internal creative agency. The talented team is comprised of designers, writers, video producers, digital strategists and communicators. The team’s agility is a strength Hickling plans to capitalize on.

“I look forward to harnessing that nimbleness. The world moves so quickly now that you need to be faster,” he said. “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.”

Hickling is open to a little disruption in his own life as well. He’ll be transforming from a Haligonian to an Edmontonian.

“It’s a dry cold in Alberta. Or so I’m told,” he chuckled.

One bit of irony that isn’t lost on Hickling—ATB’s new brand campaign is all about change.

“There’s a line in the ad that says ‘staying the same is not an option’. That really speaks to me.”

Hickling’s first day at ATB is February 20.


About ATB Financial

With assets of $50.7 billion, ATB Financial is Alberta’s largest home-grown financial institution. Established in 1938, ATB is a network of 175 branches, 142 agencies, a Customer Care Centre, two Entrepreneur Centres, along with mobile and online banking. ATB’s more than 5,000 team members help more than 740,000 customers in 247 Alberta communities.

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