Lowe unveils latest TV commercial for HSBC

Lowe has unveiled new TV advertising for HSBC in the run-up to the pitch to decide if the agency retains its tenure of the banking giant's above-the-line account.

A 60-second spot breaking nationally on Monday and globally from 1 April sustains HSBC's positioning as "the world's local bank" by promoting the depth of its local knowledge.

It reinforces the message by featuring a young European man riding a motorbike across South America.

As he journeys across different landscapes, he happily interacts with the people he meets by communicating with them using the OK sign.

The tactic works well until he reaches Brazil where the gesture is deemed deeply offensive. In the final scene, the rider is forced to make a rapid escape from a cantina after he unwittingly upsets the owner and diners.

Peter Stringham, HSBC's global head of marketing, said: "This is an engaging and energetic demonstration of the importance of local knowledge. It illustrates the kind of cultural faux pas that we all try to avoid, in a humorous way."

The commercial, which was produced by the Lowe senior creative Vince Squibb, was directed by Chris Palmer through Gorgeous. Media planning and buying is being handled by PHD in the UK and by ZenithOptimedia in the rest of the world.

Matthew Bull, the chief executive of Lowe, said: "The HSBC ads are so successful because they're human, witty and unpretentious. This latest film has an epic quality, yet still retains the authenticity and intimacy that are the campaign's hallmarks."

HSBC, the world's second-largest financial services company, confirmed in January that it was inviting four communications groups, including Interpublic, the parent company of Lowe, to pitch for its £600 million marketing account.

Publicis Groupe was dropped from the shortlist last month, leaving Interpublic to battle for the business against WPP and Omnicom. The review is due to be completed in May.

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