Ad Nut
Aug 17, 2017

Has HSBC invented time travel? An Ad Nut quiz

Our pal Ad Nut has devised a quiz to test your comprehension of this HSBC ad by J Walter Thompson Singapore.

Please watch the above video and then answer the following questions.

  1. What name does HSBC use for the members of the concierge staff for its Visa Infinite card?
  2. Why would a modern human being need the services of a minion in order to book a trip from Singapore to Paris?
  3. Did the video demonstrate that time travel was actually accomplished?
  4. Is the credit line for an HSBC Visa Infinite card literally infinite?
  5. Were you impressed with the kinds of "incredible" requests that Visa Infinite cardholders can expect to have concierge staff carry out for them?

This picture has been placed here to prevent you from prematurely peeking at the answers.


  1. "Butlers"! They're called butlers. Yes yes, Ad Nut thought it was a joke as well. But the more you think about the target audience for a product as pretentious as this, the more sense it makes. Perhaps we should consider ourselves fortunate that they're not called "slaves" or simply "boys".
  2. Because it makes them feel important to have a minion do it for them, even though actually booking the trip personally would surely take less time than even placing a telephone call to one's "butler". 
  3. Yes, if you consider that this whole concept takes us back to the days when ostentatious rich people commanded their manservants to carry out menial tasks. On second thought, Ad Nut supposes this scenario is still common in circles of society to which Ad Nut isn't privy. Dammit.
  4. If Ad Nut could answer this question, Ad Nut would not be here working for peanuts (also walnuts and cashews). 
  5. Ad Nut certainly was not, because the example is not so much 'incredible' as 'incredibly laughable'.

The work is well-crafted, and one expects it fulfills the brief in terms of evoking a certain luxurious snootiness. But No. 5 in Ad Nut's quiz seems to be a real problem unless other parts of the campaign better articulate the "incredible" requests the butlers can fulfill. The only other example mentioned in press materials is "arranging a Michelin star chef to cook for you at your ski chalet", which Ad Nut admits sounds...acceptable.   

For the record, the campaign includes print, digital, social media and a microsite, as well as activation and events. The agency further informs us, in typical buzzword-happy style, that:

A parallel stream of content articles and event partnerships invites potential members to engage deeper with a range of curated experiences. Prospects are re-targeted with tactical communications and content on-site that show how specific card benefits enable unique, memorable experiences.

Maybe that re-targeting stage is where all the "incredible" stuff begins to happen. Perhaps the strategy is to prevent common rabble from having their minds blown by the unobtainable (for them) levels of butler-bossing that are available to the lucky members of the Infinite Class. If so, then well-played, HSBC. 

Ad NutAd Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. Check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame.


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