Emily Tan
Mar 19, 2015

HSBC celebrates 150 years in HK with banknote, AR, LED building

HONG KONG - HSBC has launched a three-part programme to recognise its 150th anniversary in Hong Kong, offering a commemorative banknote complete with an AR (augmented reality) app, a building decked out with an LED animation and an interactive exhibition.

With the AR app, HSBC's banknote displays the HK skyline and lightshow
With the AR app, HSBC's banknote displays the HK skyline and lightshow

Client: HSBC Hong Kong

Agencies: J. Walter Thompson, mobile app by Cherry Picks

Market: Hong Kong

Campaign Scope: Print, digital and out-of-home. 

Details: The marketing drive includes a full lighting upgrade of HSBC's iconic building on 1 Queen's Road Central with three high-resolution LED screens. The nightly display will run from 6.30 pm to 11 pm throughout 2015. The limited-edition commemorative HK$150 banknote is paired with an augmented reality app that shows HK's skyline and lightshow. 

The launch is backed by a full print, digital and out-of-home campaign that encourages people to order the special note and to download the HSBC 150 augmented-reality app. The exhibition 'Our City, Our Stories' showcases the lives of people and the industries of the city told through a series of displays is running at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum from 6 March to 4 September. The creative campaign supporting the exhibition uses Hong Kong as a canvas, with OOH material posing a question about Hong Kong’s past, the answer to which is found in the exhibition.

Press Release quote: Audrey Wong, regional head of retail banking and wealth management marketing: “The note design draws on the spirit of ambition that has made Hong Kong such a special place. It captures the growth and changing landscape of the city, and with all net proceeds from sales of the notes going to local charities, we can express our gratitude to Hong Kong."

Campaign Asia-Pacific's comment: The commemorative bank note with a rather cool AR display is perhaps the most uniquely Hong Kong aspect of this marketing drive, as it celebrates both HSBC's ability to print legal tender in the city-state and also Hong Kong's rather psychedelic skyline. It's also great to hear that the net proceeds from the banknote sales will go to charity, because otherwise, paying HK$380 (US$50) for a single HK$150 (US$19.34) bank note, would be a hard pill to swallow. 


Having witnessed it in person, we can also say that the light display on HSBC's tower is both rainbow-tastic and mesmerising:


And the large posters showing HK's past and present are likewise, fairly arresting:


Which makes us wonder, why are the tram stop posters and tram decals so, well, dull?



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