2022 Winner

BronzeSustainability Strategy

HSBC Bank USA
"Lifegiving Light"
Wunderman Thompson

CASE SUMMARY

HSBC had recently announced a $1trillion global commitment to help their clients reach net zero. The agency’s goal was to increase awareness of this commitment amongst climate leaders during COP26, the UN’s global climate summit taking place in New York.

While HSBC is one of the largest international banks in the world, its presence in the US is small and the bank doesn’t easily come to mind for most Americans. With a fraction of the media budget of other brands, their opportunity was to embrace the principles of being a challenger brand to breakthrough and earn more than their fair share of voice.

They challenged themselves to demonstrate the type of outside-the-box thinking required to actually achieve net-zero. They found their inspiration in the environmental impact of a traditional media plan – they learned that the average American digital billboard consumes the same power as 30 homes. The last thing the planet needed was another ad, so they engineered theirs to reduce its carbon footprint and help plant life thrive instead.

In partnership with LinkNYC, they mapped every low-carbon emission billboard near greenspace in Manhattan. They turned all 80 of their media \ locations into lightboxes that emitted blue light within the 400-500 nanometer range of the visible light spectrum, which has been shown to encourage chlorophyll absorption, photosynthesis, and plant growth. The ads ran all over the city, including locations within viewing distance of the UN and embassies of COP26 participants.

Throughout their campaign, they were able to generate 1000 hours of blue light having a positive effect on hundreds of nearby plants, flowers, and trees throughout Manhattan. In addition to the over 22 million media impressions created by the ads themselves, the story was picked up by media outlets in both the United States and Canada, generating millions of additional impressions for the campaign and making an unignorable impact among global sustainability leaders attending COP26.

The internal pride generated by this campaign has inspired a shift in how they go to market with the brand in the US. Clients across the bank now routinely challenge them to go beyond a purely paid media approach to embrace the principles of being a challenger brand.

Credits

Agency: Wunderman Thompson Canada
Chief Creative Officer: Ari Elkouby
Associate Creative Director: Kyle Carpenter
Art Director: Lily Coyle
Managing Director: Scott Miskie
Account Team: Chandler Powell, Daniella Zamostean
Agency Producer: Jennifer Cotton
Producer: Amy Quick, Demi Veselinovic
Strategy: Matt Ball, Barbara Jung
Project Manager: Anaysha Jairam
Production: Sauce Production
Editors: Brett Erina, Ben Badger
Videography: Joseph Bressler
ANIMATION: The Faculty VFX
Creative Lead: Daniel J. Kelly
Lead Animator: David Desjardins

Media: Omnicom Media Group
Contact: Lorraine Casey

Client: HSBC US Clients
Clients: Mira Hamade, Allison Warren, Kate Fullam
For registration inquiries, contact Alisha Tabilin at 1-416-408-2300 x282 or atabilin@brunico.com.