This week on The Good, The Bad & The Unwatchable, we bring you a breakdown of HSBC’s latest piece of social content.
Whats the aim, message and theme of the video?
- It starts well trying to play on a topical theme of older generations vs technology
- This theme is well documented and gets great shares etc on social historically because everyone likes watching the “cute older generation getting amazed by technology”
- I wouldn’t have chosen this theme though because it’s been used by one of their closest competitors. Yes it’s an industry trend that the banks should be age friendly, but when you realise that they are just advertising an app and not that they are age friendly, it doesn’t have to be locked into a theme which has been used recently by one of their closest competitors. They could create a much more shareable piece around a baby using their app. (Yes that sounds mildly fiscally irresponsible but in actuality, every kid above the age of 6 months knows how to unlock a phone, and if it’s about the app being so easy to use, showing a baby doing it would be a lot more humorous)
Does it pass the pizza test?
- Great design on title cards and graphics which is usually overlooked.
- They’ve clearly thought about the character, costume design and also the aesthetic of the film which is consistent throughout which is great.
- Really clean shots especially the close ups to build that personal connection. One of my favourite shots is when he is looking in the mirror and the camera moves around him to show him now looking through the window at the restaurant. This shows some real creative thinking which is always a plus.
- That being said, some of the shots in the middle, at the barbers or playing chess, don’t add a lot to the story arc. We’ve already established he’s going on a date, so maybe these middle shots should be a little punchier to keep the attention of even the most distractible viewers.
- Yes it passes the pizza test for me.
Was this written by a creative genius or a 3 year old?
- This is where the film really falls short, in terms of how the story and message is delivered to the viewer
- Right away, it starts with a logo which is a massive mistake because your brain is waiting for the product placement. In the age of social, this is a tremendous mistake.
- They are trying to advertise the app, but it’s not clear what the app does at all. If it’s only used to check your balance, would you even use it?
- Story does not seem convincing by the end- it could be more convincing if we actually see practical uses of him using the app in very natural settings. Right now it feels like the story is being built up to the life saving moment of the character being able to check his balance in the app. First: is that realistic? Second: So you can check your balance on the app… but what else can you do?
- Unfortunately, it doesn’t leave you more educated about the app nor does it leave you feeling good because you don’t truly believe Arthur’s life is any better because of it.
- Remember, the audience crave to be entertained or educated, choose one and do it properly
Is it music to my ears?
- Soundtrack is actually really well chosen. Wouldn’t replace it, as it matches the aesthetic of the video and it supports the visuals well.
Did I do a round the world trip in less time than it took you to tell your story?
- Good length for social- they kept it under 90 seconds but the video ended in a pointless manner so doesn’t really make a difference
My brain did scream “yeah, but at least we know HSBC is an age friendly bank which is very important for financial institutions nowadays, so this video deserves more!” That was until I read the comments, which were all complaints by customers about branch closures, which has been fundamentally the most contested part of the move to online banking for the older generations. What was worse, was that the social media team had generic template responses for each comment. You all know how much of a social media mistake this is. So all in all the video in my eyes although impeccably shot, missed it’s target not only in the product placement, but also in the message it intended to deliver.