Ad Nut
Aug 24, 2018

HSBC re-hatches insurance brand, with a tepid egg story

HSBC and Saatchi & Saatchi tell the tale of a boy and his egg, in a safe and uninspiring brand relaunch.

HSBC rebranded its life-insurance business as HSBC Life in Hong Kong this week, with a campaign through Saatchi & Saatchi.

Hong Kong is the first market to see the new branding. The campaign, titled 'Because a promise is a promise', includes 30- and 60-second ads, social media and "massive" OOH.

The brand wants to be seen as a long-term partner in helping people keep their promises to their loved ones. The campaign shows the story of a boy who takes his commitment to protect an egg quite seriously, but needs the help of a protector who literally jumps in to save the day at a critical moment. 

Here's Alexis Chiu, group managing director at Saatchi & Saatchi Hong Kong, with some of the thought behind the work:

The HSBC Life persona that Hong Kongers can relate to are reliable, approachable and sincere. The endearing child in the campaign represents youth and innocence, while still showing the persistence and ability to deliver his promise no matter what comes across his path. The story holistically embodies the intrinsic power of Hong Kongers.

Ok, if you say so.

Ad Nut gives both the rebranding and the ad a big, fat "meh". The kid's cute and all, but neither the positioning nor the initial work stands out much in the sea of mind-numbing sameness that is insurance advertising, at least in this market. It will succeed in getting the HSBC Life name out there, which is of course a big part of the mission, but nothing more.

Mind you, that may be enough. HSBC has both ample resources and ample brand equity to help drive its insurance offering into the consideration set. For example, look how the company is using the enormous OOH asset it happens to own in a prime position in Hong Kong's skyline (its HQ building):

Now can we talk about the egg thing?

Do schools still do this exercise? And if so, why?

Previous to seeing this ad, Ad Nut had only ever heard of schools in the west giving this assignment to teenaged students as a demonstration that having a baby would put a big crimp in their carefree lifestyles. In other words, they're trying to scare kids into abstaining from sex. In some schools, reportedly, a broken egg even means a failing grade. (Of course many of these same schools refuse to give students the practical sex education and access to contraception that have been proven to actually decrease teen pregnancy. Sigh.)

In any case, Ad Nut had not heard of kids as young as the ones seen here, nor kids in Asia for that matter, being asked to protect an egg at all costs. So the ad was initially extremely confusing. Ad Nut hopes some of Ad Nut's many fans will write in with some enlightenment. Is this a thing in Hong Kong or other APAC countries? 


Client: HSBC Life
Creative Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
Director: Alfred Hau @ Off-Lo-Hi
Photographer: Lewis Ho & Benny Lam @ Studio Incline

Ad 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. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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