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Saatchi’s new life story for HSBC lacks credibility

What on earth do you, the ad agency, do with a bank these days?

HSBC has more image problems than most, being accused of everything from money laundering (by American prosecutors) to blackmailing the UK government with its supposed plans to leave – only to change its mind somewhat rapidly when UK Gov. changed some rules and Far East markets tanked.

At one time it was the ‘world’s local bank’ then it wasn’t as it decided to pull out of some markets. Now it’s promoting its Premier account (one you pay for) with a new campaign from Saatchi & Saatchi telling us that “life has the best stories.” Why? To emphasise life’s unpredictability (something banks know a fair bit about) and why you should plan for the future with a (paid for) HSBC banking deal. This is Chung who wants to be a martial arts whizz but becomes a surgeon instead (I think).

HSBC global head of marketing – wealth & brand communications Andrea Newman says: “2016 marks a year of significant effort by HSBC to continue to drive awareness of our wealth credentials through HSBC Premier. This campaign once again demonstrates our commitment to producing empathetic communications that resonate with our clients.”

Saatchi London CCO Kate Stanners says: “Life writes the best stories is a campaign idea based on the premise that you reach a point in your life when you can reflect on the unpredictability of your journey so far, and look forward to the adventure yet to come.”

Well, yes. But it’s not a very compelling reason to hand over your money.

MAA creative scale: 5.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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