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HSBC highlights how British culture has been shaped by global influences


By Imogen Watson, Senior reporter

September 9, 2019 | 3 min read

HSBC UK and Wunderman Thompson have launched phase two of the 'We Are Not An Island' campaign that celebrates how various cities, neighbourhoods and communities are all connected to the world and part of something bigger.

HSBC launched phase two of 'We Are Not An Island'

HSBC launched phase two of 'We Are Not An Island'

'We Are Not An Island' launched in January. It comprised of a series of copy-led print executions that celebrated the elements of British life that are indebted to the nation's connections to the wider world.

Traversing the whole of the UK, the campaign celebrates British culture by thanking places across the world for their various inventions that helped shape it.


Connecting the UK to the wider world through the mutual exchange of ideas, culture and innovations - the campaign points out that without L.A., there would be no traffic cone hat for the Duke of Wellington sculpture in Glasgow. With no France, Oasis' hit song 'Champagne Supernova' would never have been released. Without China and its years of tea cultivation, there would be no Yorkshire brew.

The campaign runs to December and the OOH activation takes in an initial 12 cities across the United Kingdom, as well as selected London boroughs.


Since launching in January, this isn't the first time HSBC has re-imagined its 'We Are Not An Island' billboard campaign. Ahead of the first all English Champions League and Europa League finals, HSBC launched a poster that celebrated the diversity of the 'all-English' finals to show it wouldn't be possible without a little help from overseas.

Despite good intentions, the campaign wasn't originally positively received. Following scrutiny on social media that called the campaign "anti-Brexit" - a spokesperson from HSBC confirmed to The Drum that it wasn't about Brexit, but about the importance of being open and connected to the world.

Discussing the launch of the second installment of 'We Are Not An Island,' Chris Pitt, chief marketing officer at HSBC UK says “This work continues the message we began communicating at the start of the year with our ‘We Are Not an Island’ campaign, reinforcing our belief that we thrive most by remaining open and connected. In this phase,we wanted to emphasise the impact the UK has had on shaping global culture as well as recognising how international influences form part of our everyday lives.”

HSBC: We Are Not An Island by Wunderman Thompson


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