On 20 March HSBC launched an integrated campaign called ‘Serious Play’ to bring to life the bank’s sponsorship of the Hong Kong Seven’s rugby tournament.
HSBC is the co-title sponsor, along with Cathay Pacific, with the legendary sevens tournament which takes place from 23 to 25 March.
Spearheaded by a ‘Serious Play’ TV ad, created by agency JWT London, the aim of the campaign is to encapsulate and reflect both the high levels of passion and commitment from both spectators and participants at the tournament and it sense of fun.
It revolves around the increasingly popular trend for fans to wear fancy dress to the tournament and reflects the serious approach many spectators have to their costumes.
On the more serious side, the campaign also aims to represent the bank’s dedication to the growth of the game both at a professional and a grassroots level.
The creative depicts soldiers and centurions battling it out with super heroes and cowboys over a rugby ball in the streets of Hong Kong. Interestingly, while some of those featured are stuntmen, others are actually sevens players from local Hong Kong rugby clubs. Former England and British Lions player Jason Robinson and past Australia captain George Gregan also make cameo performances in the films.
As well as being screened on local TV, the film will also be shown on-screen in the stadium and on HSBC’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.
The campaign also includes print and out of home executions.
The creative certainly successfully captures the sense of fun generated at the competition.
The PR behind the campaign was timed to leverage wider rugby interest as it coincided with the climax of the Six Nations rugby tournament in Europe.
The Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens is the flagship event in the HSBC Sevens World Series with 24 international teams set to take part this year.
HSBC also uses its sponsorship to drive awareness of its commitment to Hong Kong.
“Our Serious Play campaign represents for HSBC the seriousness of the sport and the fun of the tournament,” Said Andrea Newman, Group Head of Advertising & Marketing at HSBC. “Our sponsorship underlines our commitment to Hong Kong, which we have sought to demonstrate in our stadium films.”