Winner 2016

Financial Services



Lead Agency



The Challenge

The number of people moving abroad from their native country has grown from approximately 70 million in 1960 to over 230 million in 2013. It is predicted to grow at 2-3% per annum. As it stands, the 230 million
expats around the world would form the world’s 5th largest country by population. The HSBC Expat division of HSBC bank provides valuable expertise and authority in the field of expat lifestyle and finance, and provides products and services to satisfy this niche segments’ particular needs.

At HSBC Expat, we see personal economy as much more than just numbers on a bank statement – it’s something’s unique and constantly changing. We want to establish HSBC Expat as the bank that understands the complexity of moving to another country and make expat life easier. We understand expat
life – we wanted to make sure our customers knew we were here to support them.

In addition, HSBC Expat’s global survey, Expat Explorer, is an independent survey study, which focuses on experiences of expats all over the world. It seeks to be the global expert, providing insights and real-life stories from those who moved to another country. Our challenge was to drive 20,000 respondents for the 2015 survey, 100% increase compared to 2014. Country guides and advice would then by collated from the results of the questionnaire, which focuses on lifestyle questions about what it’s like to live in different

Through a native content partnership, HSBC Expat hoped to humanise their communication strategy to get closer to their customers, building emotive and supportive connections with expats around the world. By promoting the brand through relevant and engaging content, HSBC Expat is positioned as a reliable and authoritative voice for expats throughout their journey.

The Strategy

A partnership with BBC worldwide was negotiated for HSBC Expat in 2015 to leverage both the broad and respected reach of the BBC amongst expats, and also the BBC’s expertise in content creation. HSBC Expat’s deep knowledge of their expatriate audience through the Expat Explorer survey, teamed with the
BBC’s expertise in content creation and fantastic platform for reaching this niche audience made for a relevant and rich partnership.

With different KPIs present throughout the yearlong partnership, getting the content for each phase right was key. We developed an interactive tool to help drive respondents for the Expat Explorer survey in phase 1 (The Highs and Lows of Life Abroad, and My Other Life), a series of articles and a video to show expats the value of HSBC Expat’s support and expertise in phase 2 (Bright, young and living abroad, The Expat trend setters, Going the distance, When your home is your suitcase, and Could you live in Asia?), and an
infographic and article to publicise the Expat Explorer survey results and resources in phase 3 (The 12 happiest destinations for expats and Home is where the heart is).

Our overarching strategy for the content aimed to engage and motivate all segments of the HSBC Expat audience, from the serial expat looking to relate to stories across the world, to the first time expat hunting for hints and tips for their life abroad.

The Implementation

The campaign went live on BBC worldwide on March 16th 2015. The campaign was live on for 7 months launched across desktop, mobile and tablet. Bespoke co-branded traffic drivers and editorial promotions natively placed within BBC editorial environment drove users to view and engage with our content. On top of this, Outbrain content distribution seeded the assets across other premium publishers, generating over 143,000 clicks to the The World Is My Oyster
microsite and content pieces.

One of the best performing pieces of content was an interactive data driven game which used Expat Explorer data and insights to strengthen engagement and interaction with our audience.

Users could choose from over 34 countries (all of which aligned to HSBC Expat’s priority markets for a richer content experience) and were asked to answer 8 simple questions of their current lifestyle and where they might see themselves living. The tool then generated country specific fun facts and insightful knowledge to enable our audience to visualise their life in a new

During phase 1 we utilised customisable guest boxes to encourage users to participate in the Expat Explorer 2015 survey. Behaviourally targeted banners and native buyout placements also directed to the Expat Explorer survey, and social shares from the tool helped grow the audience organically. During phases 2 and 3, these placements were changed to reflect the KPI at that
time of year (phase 2’s being traffic to our public website, and phase 3’s being awareness of Expat Explorer results and resources).

The Result

The campaign delivered across all four objectives. TWIMO was the BBC’s most successful native series in 2015, and users exposed to partnership content demonstrated a 31% increase in brand favourability vs unexposed users. The native partnership was demonstrably engaging, with nearly 4,000 clicks on
text links, and over 1,100 shares of the interactive tool on social media and email.

While the partnership’s foremost goal was to create engaging, insightful content to publicise HSBC Expat’s expertise in expat finance and lifestyle needs, it also provided excellent lead generation support, generating 41 leads. On top of this, our brand study showed that users who saw our native content had a 28% increase in consideration of HSBC Expat vs their unexposed peers.

Expat Explorer KPIs were also fulfilled, with the BBC delivering a total of 4 million EE recruitment assets impressions and over 650,000 content page views. This drove 1,921 survey respondents (10% of overall respondents & a C2L of 10%). With the help of TWIMO, nearly 22,000 expats contributed to the survey in 2015. Awareness of EE survey results and tools was also achieved with over 350,000 impressions on results assets, and the 12 Happiest Destinations for Expats infographic received over 109,000 page views, with a dwell time of over 3 minutes.

Nothing speaks more than client feedback about positive results: “Many thanks for this swift analysis and recommendations. AWESOME job and GREAT results. Well done and well managed / reported throughout.” Stefano Barale, Senior Campaign Manager | HSBC Expat