Creative Dive: Open to Art – Turning Hong Kong into a Canvas

By promoting local artists, the year-long campaign by HSBC, working with MSL Hong Kong, aimed to position the bank at the forefront of innovation and culture.




MSL Hong Kong


April 2022


Hong Kong

Campaign Background

HSBC and MSL Hong Kong turned the entire city into a canvas, giving Hong Kong a new way to express and experience the next generation of creativity. By promoting local artists, this year-long campaign has positioned HSBC at the forefront of innovation and culture.

From turning HSBC’s building façade into the world’s largest NFT exhibition last April to using HSBC’s Wealth Centres as galleries for AI-generated real-time art pieces, HSBC allowed creators to push the boundaries of their art, while giving the city an engaging new way to experience it.

This led to major PR results and brand affinity from the art community; a truly sustained effort over many months.

The Work

Deeper Dive

MSL Hong Kong

What market insights drove the creative inspiration behind the campaign?

The influx of digital banks has caused traditional banks to lose market share among millennials and Gen Z, who often see these institutions as outdated. To combat this, HSBC wanted to launch an experience about something that mattered to them, but also cemented HSBC’s innovation bona fides.

In our customer research, we identified art, and specifically digital art, as one of the fastest-growing trends for the younger segment. With expensive commercial properties taking over the city, digital artists are now confined to the smallest of gallery spaces and struggle to find venues for their work.

“Our ambition was to transform Hong Kong into the world’s first digital canvas. Being the biggest bank in Hong Kong, we had access to the most space, both physical and digital.”

Meanwhile, HSBC was making huge inroads with its digital product experience and app, and needed a communications strategy that echoes its digital-everything strategy.

We had the idea of transforming all of HSBC’s owned and earned spaces into new ways to explore and experience virtual artworks and artists.

Events, branches, traditional media formats… these all could be converted into art spaces.  We knew the effort would be less about one signature touchpoint, and more about solidifying this positioning for the HSBC brand over time.

How did the campaign evolve creatively?

Our ambition was to transform Hong Kong into the world’s first digital canvas.  Being the biggest bank in Hong Kong, we had access to the most space, both physical and digital.

Our year-long initiative started with a live multimedia installation inside our Wealth Centres. Created by multi-media artist Victor Wong, it uses historical data from the Hang Seng Index to create real-time art pieces in a traditional Chinese style.

Our ‘Open to Art’ 3D billboard became a showcase for digital multimedia artists like Henry Chu.

We even turned the iconic HSBC Building into the world’s largest NFT display, showcasing hundreds of diverse NFT collections from local creators, while helping to transform K11, one of Hong Kong’s most popular malls, into a guided tour of digital art called Metavision.

We developed an “Open to Sound” installation on the West Kowloon Harbourfront, as well as sponsored M+, Hong Kong’s newest modern art museum. Lastly, we took a foray into virtual spaces by creating the HSBC Metaverse Gallery, allowing local virtual artists to exhibit their works and bring them to the masses.

Tell us about some of the challenges putting the campaign together for launch.

Because this isn’t a typical advertising campaign, every aspect of the year-round campaign was challenging. From collaborating with the right artists to working closely with them to create original visual art for different spaces, we had to sustain the popularity and awareness of this initiative throughout the year.

This is not even talking about the new media platforms that we explored – from the massive 3D digital billboard to the metaverse gallery, we put in hours and hours of testing to ensure the best user experience was achieved.

 What were the results in terms of KPIs?

We’ve generated an astounding amount of media value, with artists, journalists and institutions alike celebrating HSBC for championing and invigorating the city’s art scene.

Open to Art will become a long-term platform for HSBC, while the Metagallery platform will be an ongoing place for artists to reach a wider audience. And by highlighting Hong Kong creators, HSBC has become more relevant to the local community, putting the city on the map as a hub for digital art.

Campaign Credits

Christopher Lee, Executive Creative Director
Huey Wong, Creative Director
Jackie Wong, Associate Creative Director
Harry Wong, Sr Art Director
Michael Ng, Sr Art Director
Tim Lee, Sr Writer
Alexis Chiu, Group Managing Director
Miuson Chi, General Manager

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