To compete with the big five domestic banks in Canada, HSBC Bank needed to differentiate itself with products and services, including more flexibility for their account holders. Our challenge was to communicate a somewhat complicated proposition: explain to Canadians that they can place their minimum balance into RRSPs, TFSAs, GICs and Savings without incurring pricey monthly banking fees.


A recent Ipsos survey conducted by the bank revealed that the average Canadian has $6,417 trapped in their chequing account that they can see but not touch without incurring a fee. To prove this point, we set out to create a simple metaphor that was relatable and had the power to break through an already cluttered category.


We developed the “Inaction Figure”, a metaphor for Canadians’ minimum balances. It took the form of an action figure sealed away in a blister pack which you could see but not touch. Touts included “less flexibility”, “will not grow” and its “dust collecting ability”. The figurine was symbolically priced at $6,417. Online video, social and radio all utilized this creative device to comedic effect. Finally, we put up the “Inaction Figure” for auction on eBay priced at – you guessed it – $6,417. Predictably, it received zero bids, further proving our point that no Canadian choose to spend that much money on something that does nothing, unless of course it’s their minimum balance.


The campaign results have yet to be published. However, the campaign has been embraced inside the bank.

HSBC Inaction Figure Case

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