It is not very often that I post about banks, the profession and its high street presence somewhat confronting and misrepresenting everything that I enjoy blogging about – creativity, design and the sparkles and x-factor of some clever guys in advertising. Suits, pound signs and uninviting front doors not quite making the mark. It therefore is with a fair bit of aplomb (great word) that HSBC steals my bank-blogging virginity, while making me feel old in the process as the campaign in question is all 2012 marketing buzz – “experiential”, “consumer engagement” and “mobile, mobile, mobile”, despite being produced in 2005 (the time that I was setting my GCSEs).
The object of my respect is the “Your Point of View” campaign, which was created by JWT to demonstrate HSBC’s belief that difference creates value, which is basically a clever way of saying that HSBC understand people, and thereby people should like HSBC. Money and customer numbers are clearly at the commercial crux of the campaign, but this is nicely dolled up in a theatrical and engaging exterior – that of pageant figures, paparazzi and the football fan, with the consumer as an individual being the focus.
The campaign basically illustrates the friendly, smiling face of HSBC that so often greets you in airport arrivals as that “World’s local bank” slogan plays out. But I think that rather than just smiling at consumers, the “Your Point of View” campaign encourages them to think – opening the floor and its windows quite literally to some controversial questions. The campaign therefore addresses the subject of perceptions and attitudes, which is arguably unusual for banks who typically hoister a neutral surrender flag to confrontation, or appear closed and distant to discussion. HSBC’s openminded philosophy is subsequently refreshing, and if we are going all out honest here, I prefer it to their current local bank approach. Yes it is great to have that “local bank” whenever you travel, but what is the point of them if there is not someone interesting and understanding working behind those doors?