Saturday, July 29, 2006

The new HSBC Ads

HSBC in India has been releasing a new series of ads, in print, TV, Radio and the net (as far as I can see). The basic premise of these ads is that they understand the diversity of India and have the knowhow of dealing with the great range of people that India has on offer.

One of the TV ads shows a nerdy looking guy with a telescope, wiping his nose with one hand and checking out some obscure planet and its rings after some really complicated compass work and calculations with the other. While on a loo-break (with a helpful "Men-At-Work" sign outside the telltale door) his roomie - Mr. Smarty-Pants - returns, checks his watch and realising that it is time, disturbs the carefully-set telescope to ogle at a just-returned-from-outside girl across the street in another highrise. The shot clearly shows the girl in an initial-stage-of-undressing. We are thankfully spared the torture of having to look at the hapless girl. Instead we cut to a shot of Mr. Smarty Pants, whose expression tells us all, as he blows his steam off the top of his head.

So what I am supposed to understand from this?

1. HSBC condones and promotes voyeurs aka peeping toms?

2. If I am one, they will open an account for me and understand my special needs (whatever they may be!)?

3. India is filled with such highrise cultural activities and HSBC is out there to capture this special market segment? With loans for binoculars, night vision goggles, X-ray goggles, remote listening devices and whatnot, I am sure HSBC is going to make some serious cash, especially as the Voyuers will be able to sell these pics to porno websites.

4. Guys who look at stars are nerds? Guys who ogle and trespass others' privacy are smart role models?

The ad is disgusting to say the least. It clearly shows the warped mentality and misplaced priorities of the ad-maker and more so of the ad-approver at HSBC. Is this the brand image they want to convey? I wonder how much will they like voyeurs across their street to have such technological advantages? And, I think, it defeats the basic premise that they understand customers, let alone Indian customers. With this ad, I think they put off 50% of the target first of all, the women. And may be a few oversensitive guys like me.

1 comment:

  1. Over sensitive ??

    How many roads must a cynic walk down beore you call him a Pessimist ?

    sounds corny, couldn't help it !