HSBC rams home its island message – but what is it?

HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Corporation as was) has been telling us Brits that “we are not an island” for a while now, even though we clearly live on one.

It’s back with a new Wunderman Thompson effort fronted by comedian Richard Ayoade, a campaign which seems to please some and infuriate others.

There are also loads of localised outdoor executions, which seem to be do most of the infuriating, although some are quite witty. But if you live in Leeds you might find the slightly hectoring note of this irritating.

In its earlier manifestations this was seen as a pro-Brexit campaign. Not so, says HSBC, it’s celebrating open British culture although to quite what end isn’t wholly clear. It’s reminiscent of the “feel good about us” corporate advertising that used to appear in the centre break on News At Ten.

It’s obviously ticking some of the boxes valued by HSBC. Does it produce more business or is that the object? Maybe the big banks, batting off competition from newbies, don’t need it.

MAA creative scale: 5.

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About Stephen Foster

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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.