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Core disciplines: Advertising/Creative, Creative technology, Digital, Social

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HSBC encouraged young people in the UK to pursue new opportunities, and avoid future regrets.

HSBC wanted to acquire new Student Accounts by targeting new university students and higher level apprentices. Attracting new customers through student account offerings is a critical acquisition tool for all of the high street banks - it's one of the primary periods for getting new people into the bank. Competition is stiff at this period, as all the banks push hard to attract new university students at a key life stage.

HSBC had ambitious targets this year in terms of bringing new customers in, and this year they had a category first in that they are the first high street bank to offer their Student Account to both university students and higher level apprentices. We needed to raise awareness of this differentiator, and attract new young people to sign up with HSBC's Student Account.

The problem was that other banks offer incentives that many students consider more appealing, and they are often attracted to the bank with the shiniest offers. As a consequence, they opt for the package that saves them the most money or offers them the greatest ease, such as their existing bank or their parent’s bank. However, this shortsightedness inhibits them from considering how a given account or bank can enhance their personal growth.

The creative idea was to produce a music-focused cross-channel campaign, called Zero Regrets, with the aim being to encourage young people in the UK about to start higher education or training to have the confidence to take on every opportunity available to them, so they can reach their full potential and have no regrets later on in life.


To bring this idea to life, we created a music video featuring award winning grime artist Lady Leshurr, and featuring real students and apprentices experiencing their zero regrets moments by pursuing their passions and the moments that would help shape their future. And not only did Lady Leshurr star in the music video, but she also wrote the lyrics, which everyone fell in love with as soon as we heard them.


Furthermore, the music video was also produced in partnership with real students and apprentices, who helped capture and edit the footage.


This campaign really pushed the boundaries for HSBC, as it’s the first time they have created a music video, and trusted us that grime was the right genre to speak to our audience through. What’s also really exciting, is that the whole campaign was shot in vertical to be social first - and a relatively new technique in the music video world.


The cross-channel campaign was a huge success, capturing the interest of students and apprentices all over the country and spurring them into action.


The social figures were impressive, raising widespread awareness of HSBC and its Student Account. On Facebook, 1.6 million people engaged with the campaign, generating over 53 million impressions, reaching a targeted audience of 9 million.

Once people had watched the first three seconds of content they were hooked, with start to end completion rates on Facebook at an impressive 62% Lady Leshurr’s announcement post and significantly above average for the music video cutdowns. And also, although not one of our objectives, we saw an exceptionally high number of people between 18-25 years old become Facebook fans on HSBC’s page during the time of the campaign, with a total fan increase of +50k.


On Snapchat, the video content was viewed over 1.5 million times, generating 23.4 million impressions.  We saw a high average watch times of 27 seconds on Snapchat, once people swiped up to the full length music video.


Most importantly, the cross-campaign exceeded expectations when it came to business objectives. It drove a significant number of Student Account applications with a 17% YOY in total Student applications from 01 July – 20 September.

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