Shortlisted 2017




Lead Agency



The Challenge

Since 2013 the HSBC Retail Banking & Wealth Management proposition has been to support customers’ hopes, dreams and ambitions – be they personal, financial, career, family or adventures … we call it ‘Supporting Human

The start of every year is a critical time when people make New Year’s resolutions. In 2016 HSBC discovered through research that each year more than 40% of people make New Year resolutions*, however, only 1 in 10 of
us actually fulfil these ambitions**.

At a time when consumers were planning a big start to their year, HSBC recognised a significant opportunity for a company to help support people to fulfil their ambitions. However, markets were not spending in-line with this
behaviour. Mindshare was challenged by HSBC to encourage local markets to create a big start of their own by spending the majority of their annual budget during this period. This would help position the bank to be top of mind
when its consumers were creating their ambitions.

In our media we were tasked with making HSBC present at the start of the year, in environments, and moments where people were starting to think about the new goals they wanted to achieve. We were measured by whether
we met and exceeded first response (media interaction) and business response (brand interaction) benchmarks across all activity. Overall, we needed a big, global idea that could be expressed locally to support markets and most importantly, achieving ambitions. *Forbes, Dan Diamond, 1/1/2015, **The Independent, Siobhan Norton, 1/1/2015,

The Strategy

Consumers want instant gratification, and they want it now. To stop the procrastination that exists around the New Year, we needed to inspire and motivate action. We wanted to ensure people realised and completed their ambitions for 2016 and beyond. Don’t dream it, do it … was the attitude we decided to inspire. This positioning connects our audience’s ambitions with HSBC and their day-to-day Retail Banking needs. Whatever the size of your dream, HSBC has a retail product that brings you closer to it. Our audience measures success through experiences. Consumers are experience-hungry, variety-hungry and shaped by a strong peer-to-peer influence through social media, higher education, access and mobility. They live their lives on social media.

Communications needed to demonstrate how HSBC could empower ambition. Doing so adds a strong reason to believe and allows for long-term customer engagement with the brand. We wanted not only to enable people, but to
join them in living out their dreams and ambitions. We needed to be social, and we needed to spread the message that when it comes to resolutions, it doesn’t start tomorrow, it #StartsToday. In order for this campaign to be effective across all HSBC territories, we needed local Mindshare teams to be activating around a shared idea. To meet this need, we created the first consistent global media platform used on the HSBC account. This armed markets with a written strategy toolkit to help activate the campaign in a unified manner. By doing so, we helped permeate the ethos of the campaign into the agency, empowering our own network to generate a big
start too.

The Implementation

Having recognised that people live their lives on social media, we provided our audience with the #StartsToday hashtag. This was designed to appear across all activity, internally and externally. Internally to help get HSBC’s own employees in the spirit of #StartsToday, we generated a communications supplement. This built a buzz around the campaign and empowered employees as local campaign ambassadors, sparking energy and excitement around the world.

Externally this meant that no matter where our adverts where seen, people were able to get involved online and tell a story of their own. Doing this meant we were able to be a part of their journey throughout, tracking engagement with HSBC but also the progression of human ambition. Below are some highlights from our global network. In Hong Kong we welcomed in the New Year with strategic OOH billboards in popular NYE count down locations. At
00:00 on 1st January we encouraged people to pursue their ambitions using large format messaging, it #StartsToday. Geo-location data was used to re-target those who saw this messaging, spurring them on to set their goals for the
year and share them across social media with the hashtag.

Our colleagues in the United Kingdom launched a media first, partnering with SKY and their ADVANCE technology. Gathering data from 3 million households, with second-by-second viewing data. Using this we were able to determine whether viewers had seen HSBC creative, and in turn decide when/if to serve a specific ad to the audience. We were also able to complement regular TV comms by introducing sequential messaging across other devices. Cross-device activity ensured a seamless customer journey and once again, maximised the reach of the #StartsToday hashtag.

The UAE searched for ambition outside, celebrating the spirit of the New Year by generating videos of people who rose early on 1st January and went running/cycling/surfing. We surprised them with gifts from HSBC (bicycle, GoPro etc.) to help support their human ambition and keep their resolutions going. These videos were distributed across digital platforms and amplified on YouTube with a homepage masthead. The shareable nature of these videos once again played to our goal of being designed for social.

The Result

StartsToday was a huge success in helping people to achieve their ambitions. Where we had looked to inspire our audience on Social Media, we achieved 123m+ impressions, with 26m+ video views. 110K people gave us a like, and almost 29K joined the conversation by leaving a comment. 13K people were
inspired to retweet or share HSBC content to their own followers.

We wanted markets to drive a big start in their spending, and they responded by dedicating 52% of their annual budget to this campaign in Q1. Our increased presence and relevance meant we generated sales increases across the board. On card acquisition by +4%, card balance build by +8%, loan drawdown by +15% and mortgage drawdown by +21%.

StartsToday aimed to be powerful, relevant and shareable. Our results show that we enabled people to pursue their goals, and by including us in their social conversation they helped paint a picture of what HSBC can do for human ambition.