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HSBC explains the unearthing of insights that tied rice and finances 

HSBC explains the unearthing of insights that tied rice and finances 

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Yesterday HSBC Hong Kong launched its “This-this-rice" (兩餸飯) giveaway event as part of its FinFit Month campaign. The campaign saw snaking queues emerge around its mobile roadshow vehicle running across the city.

During the event which MARKETING-INTERACTIVE was present for, large queues of people were present in front of The Center in Central on 30 March to collect the goods dished out by the bank. However, as expected, not everyone that is present truly understood the link between rice and finances.

Addressing the confusion that consumers and readers might have, a HSBC spokesperson clarified financial literacy is never an easy topic to learn quickly. Hence the brand started the education by contextualising why and how a person can become FinFit and placed promoters on the ground to help explain the intention behind the campaign.

Don't miss: Rice and banks: Why HSBC's rice giveaway event might have surprised HK citizens

The spokesperson added that the campaign was conceptualised seeing the market uncertainties last year where the Hang Seng Index dropped at 15.5%, and inflation rate was at 1.9% for the year. Yet amidst the gloom, the bank saw “Downturn winners” emerge who successfully gained positive investment due to their financial discipline.

Speaking to these “downturn winner” the bank came up with the concept of “This-this-rice”.

The campaign aims to resemble the flexibility of the Hong Kong people during the pandemic and economic downturn in the past few years.

The spokesperson added that the origin of the campaign comes from the fact that many restaurants were struggling to survive with the night curfew during the pandemic, and yet were willing to diversify their business by pivoting to sell ‘This-this-rice’, which ultimately led to their survival and sometimes success. Bringing the campaign to life now with a mobile road show, the bank hopes to remind the mass Hong Kong citizens - despite age or affluence - that when faced with economic downturns, they should diversify their investments and adopt a flexible approach to wealth management.

Meanwhile, to ensure reach, HSBC mainly relied on earned media and social amplification to spread the messages. In a period of two weeks around 150 media coverage in newspaper and social media was seen regarding FinFit Study result announcement and FinFit van.

The spokesperson added that while the campaign was successful in getting the attention, that’s just the first step. With increased awareness of FinFit, HSBC aims to continue the dialogue throughout the year to become more FinFit. HSBC added that since the roll-out of the campaign, there has been at least 10 times an increase in doing the FinFit self-test on the HSBC website.

As with any campaign which draws a large number of people, not all members of the crowds might leave completely attuned to what the campaign is about.

Addressing this the spokesperson said: “We never expected that the members of the public who just passed by the promotional van could completely acquire all the necessary information to become financially fit. “Rather, our intention is to make use of the FinFit This-this-rice to arouse public interest, where they will find FinFit tips and messages across the promotional van materials including coupons, lunch boxes, pamphlets and be directed to our website for more information,” the spokesperson said. 

The spokesperson added that the moment the public received the coupons, their learning journeys began. “Hence it's understandable that not everyone can understand the campaign messages at that particular moment,” the spokesperson added.

The HSBC spokesperson added that while some members of the public might have said they were not able to get their hands on the coupons, HSBC did its utmost to ensure coupons were distributed fairly along the queue on a first-come-first-served basis as announced during prior communications.

“We appreciate all the audiences who have come to support the event and the van was kept open during the designated time to advocate FinFit tips,” the spokesperson said.

At the end of the day, while some might think the campaign to be a marketing gimmick, the spokesperson emphasised that the campaign goes way beyond one execution. “We won’t end there. We will continue the education through promotional messages on coupons, pamphlets, promotional websites, and social media. The education of financial Literacy is a long journey,” the spokesperson said.

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