Those are the questions I asked numerous people over the last few days in reference to this commercial:
This commercial is a perfect example of how a creative, quality advertisement means nothing if it fails to convey its brand or product at all. It tells a simple but interesting and emotional story about two individuals with highly contrasting views who still love each other in the end. To be honest, it's a very nicely done spot - and that was what I thought when I first saw it.
...Until it came to the end of the commercial and I was left staring at the TV screen, dumbfounded, unable to comprehend what I'd just seen.
"What does any of that have to do with ______?" I kept asking myself.
I use the "_______" because mere hours later, I couldn't remember what brand or product the commercial was promoting. Two days later I saw the commercial another two times and the day after that I was still angry and I had forgotten the brand again. In total it took four separate viewings before I remembered that the commercial was for HSBC, and even now I am convinced that I only know it is an HSBC commercial because I was looking for it so that I could blog about it.
The story of the protester and the lumberjack is supposed to go along with the end message, "We recognise how people value things differently. So what we learn from one customer helps us better serve another." But even with this message, I am troubled to make the real connection. All this commercial shows me is a couple who still love each other at the end of the day despite their conflicting values. From there, to "people value thing differently, and we learn from that," to, "we are a bank that understands you" just feels like a little bit of a stretch for me.
In the end, people might think it's a nice commercial, but I don't think anyone will feel closer to HSBC or consider opening an account as a result. If I can't even remember the product category, let alone the specific brand name, how am I going to remember to do business with them?