HSBC Says We Should All Just Get Along

I have seen a lot of ads from HSBC that emphasize the fact that people see and value aspects of the world differently. Its “different values” campaign has featured, for example, an ad with three identical images of bottled water with three different labels: health, fashionable, wasteful. The point they are trying to make is that people can look at the same thing and see and value it quite differently. OK, that’s true. But are all those values equally valid or acceptable? Maybe not, but it strikes me as an effective campaign nonetheless, especially in inviting identification from different groups. Now, if only they could come up with an ad where the people with very different values could all get along and find shared values and meanings. You know, like in environmental collaboration and conflict resolution.

So, when I saw the following ad last week (it came out last fall), I was intrigued.

It turns out, the ad is part of the same campaign and was created by JWT for HSBC (really, they just go by the acronyms now).

So, can logging protesters and lumberjacks love each other despite their differences? It’s a compelling ad, but does it signal anything significant?

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About Mark S. Meisner

Executive Director of the International Environmental Communication Association (IECA). I also research, teach, write about, and speak on environmental and sustainability communication, media, culture, and policy. Facts are usually facts, but opinions and sense of humour are always my own.
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