HSBC Taxis New York City Consumers in 1950s Style
Back when checkered cabs roamed free and loose in the Big Apple, cabbies were revered for their local knowledge. The best gin joint? The worst cup of joe? Fuggettabout it—the cabbies knew it all. The world’s second-largest bank, HSBC, grabbed onto that notion and didn’t let go, using a fleet of branded cabs to show off its own “local knowledge” to affluent New Yorkers. It began with a search to find the most knowledgeable cabbie in town. (Local news stations and papers picked up the story and followed it as it progressed.)
Hundreds of applications later, a driver was hired and given a red-checkered HSBC cab with one simple mission: Drive customers wherever they want to go.
Driver Johnnie Morello was outfitted in a 1950s cabbie uniform and then shifted into drive, picking up and dropping off anybody who showed him their HSBC ATM card or checkbook. In addition to the regular pick-ups and drop-offs, the cab intersected with street teams handing out branded restaurant guides and talking up HSBC’s local footprint and connection to the city. In-branch events, bankcab.com, and employee activities extended the mobile events.
Seven months later, the cab had delivered thousands of rides, 18 million impressions were generated, and HSBC awareness in New York was up 41 percent. Bank on that.