The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Some Communication Does More Harm Than Good …
May 16, 2012, 6:03 am
Filed under: Comment

So recently I was on a flight and at the start of every program – literally every program – there was this ad for HSBC:

OK, I get it … they want to ensure international business travelers view HSBC as the authority for local & international financial knowledge, advice & help.

That makes sense for a lot of reasons, including the fact it reinforces their ‘World’s local bank’ positioning [still one of the best lines ever written]

However I have an issue with it.

No, it’s not the content of the ad – which let’s be honest, is no great shakes – it’s the message they’re conveying.

After enduring a 60 second montage of industrial imagery – & stilted conversation – HSBC present us with this:

“At HSBC we believe a bank should know when a market has emerged”.

No fucking shit.

I expect fucking to know when a market has emerged, let alone an international fucking bank that was founded well over 100 years ago in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

But even more than that, the ad is talking about India.


I appreciate some people don’t like to leave their house but even the most myopic, racist fuckwit knows India is hardly some insignificant backwater and that is has been a major economic player in many global industries for years and years and years.

Sri Lanka, maybe. But India?

That’s cause for military action right there.

But back to the ad …

I don’t know whether the passenger in the car is meant to be a businessman or an HSBC representative, but the fact they’re surprised India has ’emerged’, means they’re hardly the sharpest knife in the drawer are they – and they’re certainly not the sort of person you’d want to invest either your money or your trust in.

But the real shame should be saved for the bank and agency who wrote and approved this rubbish.

They might be sitting there smugly thinking they’re brand pioneers, but all they’ve really done – on top of spending copious amounts of cash on the most pointless, state-the-fucking-obvious marketing message ever known to man – is ensure that instead of being regarded as ‘The World’s Local Bank’, they’re actually ‘The World’s Most Blinkered Bank’.

Not exactly the best message to send out to well traveled, economically aware, international business people.

Even less so when you’re a financial organisation whose HQ is pretty much next to the country they’re claiming has only now, ’emerged’.

This attitude of ‘continual news’ might have worked back in the 50’s, but in 2012, this approach – especially for a bank – highlights how incredibly bad they are at investing their shareholders and customers money.

But then we already knew that didn’t we.

27 Comments so far
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kick them campbell, kick those bank bastards in the fucking face.

Comment by andy@cynic

you made a mistake in your opening line of this post.

it should have read “so recently i was sitting on my fucking arse in a free business class fucking seat on my way to some poncy free fucking hotel…”

you know how much of a fucking stickler i am for accuracy.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by Billy Whizz


Comment by Rob

why the fuck did we never have clients who let us rob them fucking blind to make pointless fucking drivel like this?

Comment by andy@cynic

another lowes uk masterpiece stolen and destroyed by wpp.

theyve been fucked over more than me and thats fucking saying something.

Comment by andy@cynic

Yep, poor LOWES UK.

They gave birth to seminal ideas/lines for Tesco, HSBC and Stella Artois and ended up getting to watch their babies be destroyed by other agencies.

That’s a lesson for life if I ever saw one. Don’t know what it is, but it sounded deep. Well, deepish.

Comment by Rob

Though strictly speaking the Stella idea was formed by Frank Lowe before he started Lowe so that’s more proof I talk absolute, utter bollocks.

Comment by Rob

twat. you not sir f.

Comment by andy@cynic

in more hsbc cutting edge news, germanys second attempt to take over the fucking world via a hostile takeover has failed. country not expected to emerge for 20 years.

Comment by andy@cynic

“At HSBC, we believe a bank should know when they a customer is in financial trouble. And then exploit them.”

Comment by DH

If HSBC have only just worked out India has emerged, it helps explain why they had no idea they were putting their customers in the path of a financial tsunami. This isn’t just a pointless piece of communication, it’s disrespectful to their customers and the people of India as a whole.

Comment by George

if this ad even makes florence fucking nightingale angry, it must be even shitter than the shit i thought it was in the first fucking place.

Comment by andy@cynic

So which ad do you hate more Rob? This or that bank of singapore crap you talked about last week?

Comment by DH

that bank of stinkypore wins hands fucking down. this one is rotten at the core but that pile of hard working bollocks was maggot ridden all the way fucking through.

Comment by andy@cynic

What Andy said.

Comment by Billy Whizz

As an ad, I hate the Bank of Singapore one more.
As an idea – this – mainly because it’s state-the-obvious and missing-the-point all at the same time.

Comment by Rob

finally we agree on something. of course its because you fucking copied what i said as usual, but its a fucking start.

Comment by andy@cynic

What’s a bank?

Comment by Billy Whizz

something youll never have to fucking worry about billy.

Comment by andy@cynic

That’s good. I have this secret card (they call it a credit card) that makes people in shops give me whatever I want for free. It’s crazy brilliant.

Comment by Billy Whizz

I had one of those cards as well. Then some men came and took my finger.

Comment by Alex Weltlinger (@alexweltlinger)

That’s why I keep moving.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Rob, not accusing you of speaking absolute fucking bollocks, but the idea that Frank Lowe formed the idea/line for Stella is absolute fucking bollocks. Still enjoyed the post though.

Comment by Ciaran McCabe

Fair point. OK, his agency then.

And don’t worry about accusing me of talking bollocks. I do and everyone reminds me of that fact daily.

Comment by Rob

why the fuck are there do few comments about a bank taking the fucking piss? have you all forgotten what they fucking did to us? the only fucking acceptable excuse is theyve just bankrupted you and taken all your possessions which is why you havent made any comments. or you have finally discovered some fucking taste and decided to avoid this shithole like the plague.

Comment by andy@cynic

I find it hard to dislike any brand with such a good strapline and mostly good ads. Besides, I think you already covered the key points…

Comment by Rob Mortimer (Not a fake Andy)

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