LONDON: Formerly the ‘world’s global bank’, HSBC’s most recent campaign, Together We Thrive, sets out the brand’s view that people, communities, and businesses all thrive when they’re connected to something bigger.

The ad, created by HSBC’s ad agency, JWT London, with media by sister WPP-owned Mindshare, Together We Thrive is a bold move in a sector known for conservatism. Anchored by a hero film, ‘Global Citizen’, features the actor and writer Richard Ayoade.

“We realised that we needed to tell a brand story,” said Omar El-Gammal, Planning Director at JWT, speaking to WARC. “It takes guts for a brand, particularly in these times, to have a really strong point of view about how they see the world and what their role in that world is.” (For more, read WARC’s exclusive report: How HSBC’s Together We Thrive aims to build trust in post-Brexit Britain)

“We wanted to create this really strong point of view to show that we’ve got international heritage, and [being headquartered in the UK] we offer a unique gateway to the world.”

The message comes at a time of division in the UK, following the country’s vote to leave the European Union in June 2016. Yet the brand’s intention, El-Gammal said, was to speak to people on both sides of the argument.

“One of the quotes that circulated while we were developing this campaign is that famous [John Donne] quote, ‘No man is an island’”, El-Gammal added. “Regardless of your politics, you can’t deny that people will always thrive more together than on their own.”

HSBC regards its heartland target as ‘Explorers’. El-Gammal describes this group as “naturally curious and open-minded. They’re restless in a positive way. Currently, however, they aren’t that optimistic about the world”.

Though the campaign is still running, early results are promising. “We’ve seen massive increases in ad awareness, in positive buzz and word of mouth, and an increased positive overall impression of the brand.”

Prior to the campaign, El-Gammal noted, “the impression of the brand was quite negative, particularly amongst people not in our core segments”, yet early indicators suggest that across both core and non-core audiences, the campaign has managed to reverse negativity across both groups.

Sourced from WARC