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Martins Bank’s most iconic advert from the 1960s must surely be this magical image of a little girl who takes her pet elephant to the bank.  The campaign is a watershed for bank advertising – for the first time ordinary people and their aspirations are represented clearly with style and appeal, and it is now plain to see that what Martins has been doing so well for so many years is just what everybody wants – someone to talk to, a safe place for your money, and acceptance of you the customer, whoever you are, however you look, whatever you are doing. What follows from this is the reinforcement of just how far the bank’s staff will go to help you.  We were delighted to be contacted by the little girl from the advert, Caroline Griffiths, who also starred in another ad from the same campaign, which featured a camel.

Image: Barclays Group Archives Ref: 25-658 - Special thanks to Barclays for allowing what is now a very delicate exhibit to be photographed.

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We took the opportunity to ask Caroline a few questions about her child stardom:


Martins elephant ad (25-658)It was you that found us - how?


I fell upon your web site because I wanted to know the name of the elephant and whether it is still alive. My daughter is studying to be a vet and we were chatting about it and I said I wonder if it would remember me as we did the advert together. Yours is a lovely web site and I was thrilled to see my picture on it. 


Where were the pictures taken?                                           


I was about 5 years and we went to a studio off the Finchley Road in Hampstead, on the opposite side of the road to where the bank was, to do the photo shot.  It was a mock up of a bank and not the real thing.


What do you remember about making the ad?


Unfortunately I don't remember much of the day  but I do remember being allowed to walk with the elephant back to the lorry and hold the trunk which was very exciting for a small child. I also did another advert for Martins Bank with a camel but I don't remember much about it so the camel was probably not as friendly as the elephant.


Did you have any other connections to Martins Bank?


I think I actually had an account at the Bank in Finchley Road, Hampstead. I remember the Branch being there years after my photos being taken because I always thought about the time I got to play with a real live elephant. Not many children get such a wonderful opportunity and I got paid for it as well.

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