The Journey's Just Beginning

Nigel Gilbert

Chief Marketing & Communications Officer


Nigel Gilbert, Group Marketing Director at Lloyds TSB, talks to Anthony Thomson about what he calls the ‘re-booting’ of the high street bank – using the highly original images of ‘For the Journey’ which have captured the public imagination and revitalised the brand.
How did you get into the role you’re in today?
I’ve spent my entire career, hitherto, working for some great advertising agencies. I started with Allen Brady & Marsh which was quintessential West End big brand stuff, working on everything from Woolworths to Guinness and really learning my trade. I then joined Collett, Dickenson, Pearce (CDP) where I developed my passion for great creative work. My initial experience was in the area of media, learning about the numbers side of the business. Next I moved into being an account man towards the end of the 80s. By then I was working across international markets and that really interested me. It was fascinating to work across cultures.
At CDP I was involved in the merger with the Japanese agency Dentsu, then as now, the biggest single agency in the world. The Japanese and I got on quite well and they invited me to run their agency in Hong Kong, a joint venture with Young & Rubicam. I ran DYR for three and a half years in Hong Kong and did a lot of regional work in Asia. After that I moved to Stockholm to run one of Y&R’s
major global accounts, Sweden’s Ericsson mobile phones. That was a really interesting learning curve for me because it was at a time when the mobile telecoms business was exploding – probably the fastest growing category there has ever been.
I wanted to come back to the UK as I had a young family by then, and joined Lowe Worldwide. The reason they were interested in me was they were pitching for a bank. The pitch was about branding a multi-national global bank which was to be called HSBC. I led the pitch on behalf of Lowe and we won it. Over the next four years we helped build the brand which ultimately developed into “The World’s Local Bank” – work I was responsible for with Peter Stringham.
I’m now delighted to be this side of the fence, but HSBC was the inspiration for me. I got a taste for what it would be like working for one single major client company. HSBC probably educated me in the ways of banking to some degree. But also gave me a real interest in the challenges a bank faces.
What do you see as the major differences between HSBC and Lloyds TSB?
They are very different organisations. In this country they might be perceived as similar, but from a brand point of view they have evolved very differently. HSBC comes from a very different background, built on the back of a pioneering trading tradition. It came from the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. Hong Kong’s entire existence is built on a trading mentality and HSBC was and is a very powerful force within Hong Kong and the surrounding areas.
To continue reading the interview, please download the full article via the download button above.

Previous article

Small People, Big Money

Next article

Money Guidance is a Good Idea in Principle ...

Get access to valuable thought leadership from the financial services marketing industry

Keep up-to-date with current trends and changes across marketing and financial services is vital in this fast-moving business environment.