Sunday, September 27, 2009

Different Values Make For a Richer World

Yesterday afternoon, I was walking back with Caroline from the Met, and along the way to our usual pit stop at Pinkberry, we passed by an HSBC bank with this poster advertisement on the bank's window.We got to talking about more HSBC ads that Caroline was familiar with which made me curious to look up some more and these are some good ones that I came across (thanks for the idea, Caroline!) The HSBC advertising campaign is skilled and effective at using the "negotiated reading" technique, in which they usually display an image, three times, all identical and completely unchanged except for the text that is written across or under it. Take this example for instance: 

Misfortune, Obligation, Temptation
To some, a homeless wallet, laying out in public is seen as someone's misfortune. For others, it is looked at as their obligation to return it to its owner, or (which is I think how most of us would feel) it is viewed as a temptation to steal it. Just by changing the text that accompanies an image, you can completely alter its meaning and how the audience interprets that image. Here's another one:

Fate, Fear, Fairy Tale

Style, Soldier, Survivor

So, the next two ads I posted, I came across on the internet and the source that I received it from claims that it is in fact an official HSBC poster ad, but for some reason, I have a hard time believing this. None the less, even if it is someone poking fun at their advertising technique, it still accurately displays what HSBC bank is trying to accomplish. I think this one is my favorite:

Fun, Modern, Small Woman

Nice, Mean, I am allergic to it

Sure, these are all very well done ads (maybe the cat one isn't at professional, but I still got a few laughs out of it) but what does it mean? Caroline and I tried to answer the question of "what is message is HSBC trying to send out to its audience through these advertisements?" and the best we could come up with is that they want to show their understanding that everyone carries a different outlook on life and that no matter what your ideologies or views are, HSBC will be there to help you with your finances, whether you want to save up money for a new car in order to drive all 5 of your children to soccer practice or because you want to win back your ex-girlfriend with that new hot rod of yours.

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