Standard Chartered goes for laughs with lo-fi re-dub of its recent Hong Kong COVID-19 ad

A piece of content can be used more than once if there’s a new way of spinning it. That seems to be a maxim Standard Chartered has taken to heart, repurposing its ‘Invest From Home. Bank From Home’ campaign to remind Hongkongers to stay vigilant.

While Hong Kong has eased restrictive measures due to the lack of new local COVID-19  cases, the message from health experts has been to maintain caution. In that spirit, the original film created by TBWA\Hong Kong (which emphasised the bank’s digital services) has been overlaid with a new voiceover emphasising COVID-19 preventative measures, including; wearing masks, staying home if feeling unwell, social distancing, and being aware of the breaking COVID-19 news headlines.


It's the remix

Esmond Mok, regional head, Corporate Affairs, Brand and Marketing, Greater China & North Asia, Standard Chartered said,  “In keeping with our brand promise to be ‘Here for Good’, particularly in times of adversity, we want to share a positive message that is specific to the pandemic and yet integrate with the brand in a meaningful way.”

Since the original advert was so clean and produced with polish, there’s something quite charming about the intentionally janky voiceover clips on the repurposed version. While many companies would go through the palaver of producing an entirely new slick video about the merits of staying home, does this ad being rubbish somehow work better?

“Although the film is designed to be educational, the refreshed voiceover is purposely low-fi adding an element of lighthearted humour,” commented Jerome Ooi, executive creative director, TBWA\Hong Kong.

It’s hard to explain but indeed, the purposefully slapdash-seeming cutting gets across a sense of the urgency that the company had to remind people to stay safe with such haste that they needed to come out with an immediate bootleg cut. The closest thing to a riff on Mystery Science Theatre 3000 we've seen in a Hong Kong ad, this messiness works and - in our opinion at Marketing - was a bold move that demonstrated keen initiative.

The original

“Being in a position to quickly and efficiently turn timely content around to drive relevance for our clients is imperative. We are pleased BOLT, our in-house filmmaking studio, was up for the challenge,” said Jan Cho, managing director of TBWA\Hong Kong.

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