Pick of the Week: HSBC gets to the crux of a very real problem

No Fixed Address service is created in partnership with Shelter.

Homelessness has been a serious issue affecting our towns and cities for decades and one that as a society we cannot seem to fully solve.

During Covid-19, there was brief respite when homeless people were temporarily housed in hotels to help keep them safe. However, with many now pushed back onto the streets and the eviction ban for social and private tenants having been lifted on 31 May, the problem is unlikely to get better any time soon.

One well-documented complication is that homeless people are trapped in a vicious circle: without somewhere to live, they cannot open a bank account, which requires a fixed address; and without a bank account, they cannot find a job; without a job, they have no hope of finding somewhere permanent to live.

Here’s where HSBC comes in. In partnership with Shelter, it has launched the No Fixed Address service, which allows those with no permanent abode to access a bank account and financial support.

The TV spot is set on a revolving stage in which the protagonist is turned away time and time again by bank counters, front doors and employers, with the voiceover repeating: “No home, no address. No address, no bank account. No bank account, no job. No job, no home.” The tempo picks up as the situation becomes increasingly desperate.

The print work that’s also part of the campaign repeats that same sentence, using a circular motif.

It’s a simple idea, executed with clarity. You sense the frustration immediately. Like many ads for good products, it makes you ask: “How has this only just been invented?” Here’s hoping the service can provide a meaningful helping hand.

Brand HSBC
Title Vicious circle
Agency Wunderman Thompson
Creatives Craig Hunt, James Humphreys
Director Siri Bunford
Production company Knucklehead