HSBC Bank Cab

You’re standing on Fifth Ave., praying for a cab, when along comes HSBC…

It was a time when aggressive regional banks and more branches of entrenched leaders were popping up all over New York City, and HSBC knew it needed to increase customer loyalty to compete. The company rang Renegade with a challenge: generate buzz and physically impact as many New Yorkers as possible.

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We took the HSBC positioning statement—“The world’s local bank”—and made it believable in one of the world’s most bustling metropolises.

HSBC customers represent an upscale section of New York denizens whose local knowledge—where to eat, what to do, how to get there—is the key to their city. So we sought out the most knowledgeable, most engaging cabbie in NYC and made the search into a made-for-media event, exciting the press and securing over 18 million PR impressions. Now, imagine getting a free ride in the red-and-white 1982 Checker HSBC BankCab (because you’re a lucky HSBC customer), and the driver not only knows where he’s going, but can also give you restaurant, theatre or touring suggestions. Local knowledge for the win!

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The second year of the BankCab program brought the “Ride Free with HSBC” concept to an even bigger audience. Street teams asked New York City trivia questions to the public, and everyone who answered correctly got a free subway ride: 25,000 in total. On top of that, during 12 amnesty days, the cabs were available for free rides to all New Yorkers. It was as simple as getting in.

The HSBC Bank Cab zipped around New York City for 11 years, giving thousands of free rides and delighting millions with the mere sight of a classic checkered cab in Manhattan, making it a highly effective outdoor advertising campaign.

Talk about an idea with mileage!

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