Putting the fizz Into finance: How emotional advertising helped HSBC change its global image

BrainJuicer and HSBC


HSBC's "Lemonade" ad is a very different kind of financial services ad – concentrating on humour and emotional appeal rather than pushing product claims. A lot was riding on this ad – it was the first of a 'new era' of HSBC advertising positioning it as the world's leading international bank.

This submission describes how this feel-good financial ad came to be, and how well it worked – presenting a unified global message, improving brand image and leading to unexpected sales gain. Lemonade's existence is a result not just of good research but of a new approach to ad research – rooted in the science of human behaviour and the conviction that emotion matters.

This submission should win the MRS Financial Services Research Award because it shows how a combination of three things – an evidence-driven approach to how advertising works; ground-breaking emotional research techniques; and brilliant creative work – can change how a client, and an entire sector, approaches their communication. Bespoke financial sector research often celebrates the sector's introversion, flattering it that its needs are unique and different. But its customers are still human beings, and this campaign and research acknowledges that humanity.


  1. HSBC's Emotional Heritage