With its range of personal, premier and private banking services including bank accounts and mortgages, HSBC serves over 16 million customers in the UK alone

It also offers commercial banking services to SMEs, large corporates and institutional banking services.

The Brief

As one of the world’s largest and best-known banks, HSBC regularly receives huge press and media attention, but the majority of it tends to be reactive. As such, Rostrum approached its marketing team with a creative concept that set out to lead the conversation instead and, more specifically, appeal to first time buyers.

The Campaign

As part of a wider campaign to communicate HSBC’s offering to first time buyers, we came up with fresh, creative, PR-based approaches to help raise overall awareness. These ideas needed to appeal to the primary market of first time buyers, and stir up interest with national and consumer press too. Above all, the ideas needed to have real substance and be underpinned by a compelling set of messages that would increase new mortgage applications.

One of the key insights we had was that many first time buyers rely heavily on their parents – either for a deposit or a contribution to things like legal or admin fees. This gave us the idea of bringing to life the concept of ‘The Bank of Mum and Dad’ or ‘BOMAD.’ Although largely conceptual, the idea raised a whole range of questions, implications and scenarios – each of which could feed the trickle-down media campaign.

For example, if BOMAD was real, what would it be like? Who would it lend to? What would its terms be? How would its branches be laid out?

To help us answer those questions, we commissioned some bespoke market research and drafted a White Paper in association with the Centre for Economics and Business Research – which revealed some notable facts and figures. For example, without the support of mums and dads, between 2008 and 2011 there would have been 19 per cent fewer home purchases. Perhaps more alarmingly, it also showed that, by 2017, some £5.1 billion worth of first time buyer deals will be impossible without some level of family financing.

Not only did the campaign give the media much-needed stats and insights around the first time buyer market, it also had a tongue-in-cheek feel which helped us to bridge the consumer, national and trade press simultaneously.

The Results

During the three-month campaign we:

  • Achieved 121 pieces of coverage (in just one weekend).
  • Generated 32 pieces of national coverage for the launch.
  • Appeared in every major newspaper, from The Times and The Telegraph to the FT and Sunday Express.
  • Organised press meetings with all key national press.
  • Secured widespread coverage across all major social media channels.
  • Attracted over 500 new followers on Twitter, with more than 1000 tweets and many more retweets.