HSBC is a bank about which I have written a number of times. Bank advertising is horrible and often idea-less. HSBC ads from JWT, though sometimes uneven, are really quite good. JWT’s account planners have given their creative teams an idea to work with.
The tagline “The world’s local bank,” which suggests big but caring, circles what I believe to be the branding idea but it doesn’t quite nail it. That’s because most big banks have used the caring thing or a facsimile thereof for years. It’s not differentiated.
HSBC’s branding idea is to prove better service by conveying in the advertising that they attempt to really understand consumers. Their heady campaign about perceptions (Is sushi mouthwatering or nasty?) is brilliant. And the new small business work in which they coin the acronym RAQs (rarely asked questions) is a great creative hook to earn them muscle memory for the bank’s desire to get better answers. Better answers result in better, more tailored solutions. RAQs is an idea worth pursuing.
Watch out for HSBC. If they stay the course and, more importantly, operationalize the strategy into their business they will emerge as a market leader in the eyes of consumers.