Long term global golf sponsor HSBC has turned to an augmented reality mobile application as part of its integrated campaign to support sponsorship of the Women’s LPGA Championship.
The objective is to bring excitement from the professional perspective to the fans and spectators. The idea is to replicate the experience of what it is like to be competing in the HSBC Women’s Championship. So HSBC Golf Live transports participants to play some of the most formidable holes in world gold.
Modelling the game to the sport, participants become players by to gripping their mobile devices like golf clubs and then physically swing their iPhones to hit a virtual golf ball into a virtual hole. A fuller, multi-sensory golfing action is experienced via handset vibrations and realistic sounds each time they hit the ball.
Developed by JWT Singapore, the agency is keen to stress that’s its approach is based on the idea that the same effort and time must go in to developing the app as goes in to promoting it.
Launched at the HSBC Golf ‘Live’ Challenge roadshow in Singapore in January 2011, HSBC mascots dressed as oversized golf balls aimed to attract attention and create buzz around the app as they ‘teed off’ at HSBC Live Challenge at Ngee Ann City’s Civic Plaza.
Both HSBC Women’s Champions 2011 entrants as well as shoppers and passers-by tried their hand at using the app. Eight golf holes were set up, transforming the shopping district into a virtual golf course. Virtual app golfers played for the chance to win S$10,000 in HSBC’s Multi Currency Savings by playing the 8 holes in the lowest number of strokes.
Mr. Darren Friedlander, Head of Marketing, HSBC Singapore said: “The HSBC Golf ‘Live’ Challenge is a first for us in terms of augmented reality mobile application. It’s a fun and novel way of engaging with the public and getting them excited over the arrival of the prestigious HSBC Women’s Champions 2011. We also want to demonstrate our commitment to championing golf worldwide and opening up a world of opportunities through various platforms including events such as this.”
Here is a bank that understand simple brand badging-based sponsorship is not enough and that consumers want a unique experience in order to enter a dialogue with a sponsor. This app may offer just that – if the experience itself is rewarding enough.
HSBC has long been a backer of golf. Its intended positioning as the world’s ‘most international’ bank sees it work with a sport that has genuine global appeal and is well established in developed markets and suits the tastes and lifestyles of many upmarket HSBC customers. Golf’s status as an aspirational (and flourishing) across HSBC’s key Asian markets make it a well matched brand-sport association.