JWT Debuts HSBC Push

NEW YORK WPP Group’s JWT has launched its first global corporate image campaign for mega-client HSBC, with some 30 sister agencies contributing to the effort. The campaign, which includes TV spots, print and outdoor ads and a Web site, broke this week and is backed by more than $300 million in spending.

The new ads retain the previous tagline, “The world’s local bank,” but seek to deepen that positioning by inviting consumers to give their opinions on broad topics such as haute couture, wind power and evolution.

One TV spot, for example, depicts a pair of gorillas in a verdant forest with onscreen copy that suggests different points of view such as “animal” or “ancestor” and “primitive” or “evolved.” Another spot, featuring images from a wind farm, juxtaposes descriptors such as “beautiful” with “eyesore” or “alternative” with “necessary.”

After unveiling a topic, each spot cuts to a global map made up of different faces and copy reading, “Everyone looks at the world from a different point of view. What’s your point of view?” The ads end with the address of the yourpointofview.com Web site, where consumers can input their opinions on a half-dozen topics.

“We’re sort of teasing out differences,” said JWT worldwide creative director Craig Davis. “The bank has always considered itself a sensitive organization, kind of a guest in different countries.”

Davis added: “This is about the HSBC brand and its point of view. It’s living proof of the values of the brand.”

The global campaign, which launched in eight countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore and Mexico, will serve as a brand umbrella over regional ad efforts, which JWT also handles.

“This is bold campaign. We’ve got to be sure we live up to it,” said Peter Stringham, group general manager of marketing at the London-based HSBC. “A big part of it is playing with the topics.”

The “point of view” effort will extend to the U.S. and other countries in January. Roughly 20 offices of lead agency JWT contributed to the campaign, the planning for which began in February at a meeting with client executives in Dubai. JWT produced 12 TV spots and more than 20 outdoor and print ads.

JWT led WPP’s winning pitch of HSBC’s estimated $500-600 million global marketing services business last year. Other WPP shops that work on the account include Group M (for media planning and buying), RMG Connect and 141 (direct marketing) and Landor Associates (branding and corporate identity). The Web site, for example, was produced by RMG in conjunction with sister shop XMLondon, which created and managed the database.