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 Amazon.com 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.
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