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HSBC Gives Nymag.com Commenters a Virtual Soapbox and Invites Them to Initiate a Values Conversation Online

10 August 2009

First-Ever Engagement of New York Magazine's Online Community in New Digital Ad Campaign

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Once again, HSBC Bank USA, N.A. ("HSBC"), "The world's local bank," has partnered with New York Media to launch an innovative digital component to promote their new "Values Soapbox" campaign. Creating a virtual soapbox, HSBC invited five prolific commenters who frequently post feedback on nymag.com, to participate in an online values conversation. Popular nymag.com commenters Rebecarose2004, Wallfly, Martell1, ScottRose and till507, were encouraged to discuss four interesting topics that are relevant to today's New Yorkers: education, jobs, the environment and technology. Today, the general public can join the conversation by visiting nymag.com/sponsored/soapbox.

Striving to better understand the needs of their customers by understanding what people value, HSBC recently launched their new "Values Soapbox" campaign inviting New Yorkers to share their thoughts on topics, including immigration, education, environment, nuclear energy, marriage, privacy, fast food, jobs, family and technology. A related series of TV and out-of-home soapbox ads featuring real New Yorkers is rolling out in New York State, where the U.S. retail bank has its largest market presence.

"We want our customers to know that we listen to what's important to them, and that their values help inform the development of our products and services," said Johanna Breman Tzur, Head of HSBC Brand & Advertising, North America. "New Yorkers are not shy about speaking their minds. Our new Values campaign has allowed us to listen to our current and future customers and has helped us to better understand their values and meet their needs."

In addition to the online forum, HSBC is the first-ever sponsor of nymag.com's video channel. Nymag.com will be posting video content from a recent HSBC event, where more than 650 people stepped up onto a soapbox in Madison Square Park to express their values. Additionally, nymag.com will be featuring opportunities including: "IM-style" digital ads highlighting conversation threads captured during the online forum to help drive visitors to the online values conversation, "welcome-mat" ad units at every point of entry to the site and a complete online advertising takeover of the nymag.com home page today.

"The vibrant community of commenters at nymag.com is part of what makes it a daily must-read for New Yorkers real and virtual," said New York Media publisher Larry Burstein. "Harnessing their wit and insight as part of an innovative campaign for HSBC illustrates the fresh approach we take to advertising on our site."

The TV and out-of-home campaign, created by JWT and directed by famed documentary filmmaker Brett Morgen (The Kid Stays in the Picture and The Chicago 10), was shot on July 16 and features real New Yorkers standing on a soapbox to share their values on three topics, including "Immigration, "Baby" and "Technology." The ads appear throughout New York State, home to over 380 HSBC Bank branches. The campaign roll-out includes a domination of the Times Square subway station, the Grand Central North Terminal, double-decker bus wraps, and an impressive wallscape across from the Port Authority station on 42nd Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan. The new campaign also has a strong out-of-home presence in upstate New York, including mall dominations at the Crossgates Mall in Albany, the Walden Galleria Mall in Buffalo, the Carousel Mall in Syracuse and the Greece Ridge Mall in Rochester and airport advertising at the Albany International Airport, Buffalo Niagara International Airport and the Greater Rochester International Airport.

The new campaign is an extension of the original "Different Values" campaign launched in October 2008, which featured a 24-page ad buy in New York magazine. For three days HSBC was the sole online advertiser on nymag.com. Readers were also invited to participate in a contest to create the next "Different Values" ad, which then appeared in the magazine at a later date.

About HSBC Bank USA, N.A.

HSBC Bank USA, N.A. is the principal subsidiary of HSBC USA Inc. It has more than 470 bank branches throughout the United States, with over 380 in New York State. The Bank also operates in Florida, California, Washington, D.C. Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Oregon, Washington, Maryland, Illinois, Connecticut and Virginia. HSBC Bank USA, N.A. is the principal subsidiary of HSBC USA Inc., an indirectly-held, wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC North America Holdings Inc. HSBC USA Inc. is one of the nation's largest bank holding companies by assets. Deposits in the United States are offered by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.

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