Jenny Chan 陳詠欣
Mar 22, 2012

Cosplay brings HSBC's Rugby Sevens sponsorship to life

HONG KONG - HSBC has launched an integrated campaign featuring costumed players as an attraction to highlight its co-title sponsorship of the 2012 Hong Kong Rugby Sevens tournament.

Cosplay brings HSBC's Rugby Sevens sponsorship to life

The ‘Serious play’ campaign, created by JWT London (main creative hub for HSBC's global headquarters, also in London), aims to encapsulate the high levels of energy associated with the Rugby Sevens tournament, taking place from 23 to 25 March in Hong Kong. 

A 90-second commercial takes inspiration from real-life spectators for the event, many of whom wear elaborate costumes. In the spot, numerous cosplayers dressed as cowboys, centurions, elves, kungfu masters, and green army men engage in a high-tempo rugby chase through the streets of Hong Kong.

Locations include the Avenue Of The Stars in Kowloon, the HSBC Building in Tai Hang, wet markets on Gage Street and Lyndhurst Terrace, Chater Gardens, Legislative Gardens, Kai Lung Wan and the Hong Kong Stadium where the tournament is held.

Actual players from local clubs in the HK Rugby League perform the one-arm carry in the ad while sprinting among busy Hong Kongers, while local and Australian stuntmen perform parkour moves. Former British Lions player Jason Robinson and ex-Wallabies captain George Gregan make cameo appearances as bemused observers of the action.

The commercial will be broadcast on stadium screens during the three-day tournament, with the campaign's build-up phase since 19 March executed online on HSBC’s global YouTube channel and Facebook page. The campaign is integrated with print and out-of-home media (including trams and HSBC branches) complementing the commercial.

Axel Chaldecott, global creative director of Team HSBC at JWT, admitted past work featuring fancy dress has been done, but felt "no one had yet reconciled the two themes of 'serious' rugby and a 'playful' audience". On that point, he revealed that a rugby expert was consulted to make sure the play looked authentic.

24 international teams are set to take part in this year's Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens tournament. Chaldecott told Campaign Asia-Pacific that Cathay's past rugby sponsorship communications have "set a high bar". For its part, the airline is rerunning its old 'Game On' TVC from last year.



Project name Serious Play

Creative agency JWT London

Global Creative Directors on HSBC Axel Chaldecott and Daniel Hennessy

Art Director Miles Bingham / Kevin Masters

Copy Writer Kevin Masters / Miles Bingham

Agency Producer Romila Sanassy

Agency Planner Orlando Hooper-Greenhill

Account Director Tanya Hamilton-Smith

Account Manager Rollo Gwyn-Jones

Media agency Mindshare

Director Paul Middleditch

Production Company Annex / Plaza Films

Editor Andy Packer (Annex Films, London), Peter Whitmore (The Editors, Sydney)

Sound  Sam Ashwell (750MPH)

Music ‘Lonely Boy’ - The Black Keys

Campaign China

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