In the summer of 2017, HSBC began promoting their 8yr partnership between HSBC UK and British Cycling, to reconnect ordinary Britons with the joy of cycling.
The objectives for this campaign specifically were to;
- Create awareness of the partnership
- Increase HSBC Brand Favourability
To use HSBC UK’s partnership with British cycling to reach those currently disengaged with the cause (and HSBC UK). By heroing current events and activations, HSBC’s ambition is to create a fitter, greener, healthier Britain.
You never forget your first time.
Do you remember what it felt like when you first rode a bike? The wind in your hair, the ground whizzing beneath your feet and that feeling of freedom, of exhilaration. That feeling that your world suddenly got bigger and would never be the same again. If you’re still riding, well done on staying true to that inner child. If you’re one of those people that used to love riding, but for some reason have stopped, you’re not alone.
From their youngest ages, people cycle for fun, discovery, and achievement. For many, it’s their first sense of independence. The problem is, life takes over. People get busier, move house, change job or have kids. Whether it’s logistics or fear, irrational thoughts make them dismount.
HSBC realized that it couldn’t solve all of the practical reasons at once, but through its new role, it could begin to reconnect some of these people with the emotional reasons for why they learned to ride in the first place: Fun, Freedom and Friendship.
We recognized an opportunity to reconnect people with why they learned to ride in the first place, reminding them of the joy and independence that comes with riding a bike.
‘Rediscover your cyclist’
Our overall target audience for our objectives were lapsed/inactive (6.2m) and hesitant cyclists (2.6m).
To reach these people our core agency team (Mindshare, JWT and H&K) identified the following lifestages as key potential moments our audiences will be thinking about getting back on their bikes, are likely to be open to receiving content and beginning conversations around cycling.
- New commuters: Those who’ve either just started their first job or who have changed job and are still considering different modes of transport.
- Returning Mums: Women who have had children and need help to understand how they can juggle children with exercise and specifically cycling.
- Families: Teaching your children to ride and riding together as a family is the first step to a lifetime of cycling.
Our ambition was to create content that could re-ignite that passion for cycling across these audiences during 2017, to remind people of the fun and feeling of adventure that came with riding that bike, and encourage them to get out there again.
To reach our broad audience at each of these varied lifestages that were pinpointed, in July 2017, Mindshare & HSBC partnered with Channel 4 to create “The Secret Life of New Cyclists” a documentary successfully launching HSBC UK's partnership with British Cycling to a cumulative audience of 37.8m, improving perception of the brand - rebuilding trust, and restoring pride in HSBC UK.
Why branded content? Recognising that we’re at the beginning of our partnership with British Cycling and our credentials in this arena are still growing, we decided to invite some experts to help tell our story. Who better to convey that feeling of learning to ride, than a team of children about to embark on the very same journey.
‘The Secret Life of New Cyclists’
Utilising the emotional equity developed by a much-loved, award-winning show - 'The Secret Life of 4, 5, & 6 Year Olds' - and adding a cycling twist, we partnered with Channel 4 to create the 'The Secret Life of New Cyclists'. A piece enabling HSBC to launch the BC partnership in an ownable, engaging way. One that didn't feel like advertising, and certainly not your standard bank sponsorship.
Staying true to the show, we used the same talent, locations and team, giving them licence to create a ‘mini-episode’, the only brief - ‘connect people with the joys of riding a bike’.
We created a 5min documentary celebrating the trials, tribulations and eventually joy and exhilaration that comes with riding a bike. By sharing this new found love, we wanted to re-ignite that love of cycling in others.
We launched in Channel 4’s Gogglesprogs with a 60” Premiere spot, driving to our BC ‘Let’s Ride’ Portal, where people could view the documentary, see other British Cycling Content and show people where they themselves could join in rides.
Content assets included:
• A 5min documentary appearing online and on All4
• 60” and 30” on air spots
• Social cutdowns
• An adbloom C4 format that allowed us to connect on a regional level with the users local cityrides across the UK
Assets were deployed across TV, VoD and social, supported by HSBC’s owned and internal channels, sharing the content and generating excitement among its wide employee base.