HSBC British And Irish Lions Sponsorship: Lions, lions, lions - a story of rugby, wild animals and creativity



This paper is about why we should invest creative love and attention in all things, even a small sponsorship ident. It’s a story about how a brand idea can inspire moments of creativity that generate effectiveness, and how the combination of these moments has had a profound effect on the commercial growth of one of the world’s biggest brands, HSBC.

The creative work in question was born through thinking about how HSBC would approach communicating the sponsorship of the British and Irish Lions. For HSBC ‘The world’s local bank’ is a vision of a brand that sees great merit in the diversity of the world, and is a practical description of who HSBC is. It has been the inspiration for multiple marketing campaigns across time, technology and continents. HSBC prides itself on embracing the many and varied countries in which they do business, and it was this element of the brand, applied to the British Lions themselves, that was the foundation of the creative idea. We showed how perfectly at home the Lions were in the environment of their tour to South Africa, but with a bit of added excitement…they were so comfortable in this wildest of locals that they were happily providing training tips to a series of very appreciative lions, giraffes and other wild beasts.