afaqs! news bureau

HSBC's new campaign with Virat Kohli aims to foster belonging among Indian overseas students

Gully cricket social experiment campaign aims to bridge the geographical gap that often separates Indian students studying abroad from their roots.

As India gears up to celebrate Independence Day, HSBC has unveiled a new digital campaign to nurture a sense of belonging among Indian overseas students. The campaign, aptly timed to coincide with India’s Independence Day, aims to bridge the geographical gap that can often separate Indian students studying abroad from their roots.

Designed to evoke nostalgia for Indian overseas students, the social experiment campaign shows cricket legend Virat Kohli, an embodiment of discipline and commitment, surprise a group of UK international students as he unexpectedly joins their gully cricket match – instantly igniting joy and excitement. A poignant 30-second film masterfully captures the essence of the Indian spirit through the universal language of cricket transcending borders.

In the film, Virat Kohli, who resonates with the aspirations of young Indians both at home and abroad, mulls over the emotions that accompany the decision to send a child abroad for education.

The campaign comes as HSBC research* reveals the challenges faced by international citizens (including students and their parents) during their settling-in period. The research highlights that they would benefit from more support, especially as their experience on the ground may be different to what their parents are anticipating or perceiving.

Of those surveyed, international students generally take longer (9.53 months) to feel like they belong than other international citizens (8.31 months), such as expats and investors.

From this research, HSBC developed a campaign idea that celebrates the emotions a parent and their child go through when moving abroad for study. The objective of the campaign was to help inspire international students and their parents to believe they can create a new sense of belonging in their new home abroad with something that is so close to home.

The social experiment campaign is directed towards the international offerings of HSBC for international students. In India, the campaign will be live across digital and owned channels to drive top-of-mind awareness of HSBC amongst international students and their parents.

Commenting on the association, Sandeep Batra, head, wealth and personal banking, HSBC India, said, “The flow of international students has been steadily increasing over the last few years, reaching a record high in 2022 and is expected to surpass in 2023. International education represents an important opportunity for HSBC. For international students and their parents, our proposition extends beyond conventional banking with offerings such as planning support, beyond banking, cross border banking, account opening set up and global support. With an expansive array of offerings, we are strategically poised to bolster various aspects of the journey for international students, positioning ourselves for significant growth.”

On the campaign, Jaswinder Sodhi, head of customer proposition, digital and marketing - wealth and personal banking, HSBC India said, “Gully cricket with Virat Kohli celebrates the unbreakable bond that bridges distances and cultures whether at home or abroad. Through the campaign, we are reiterating our purpose of ‘Opening up a world of opportunity’. We are committed to invest for the long-term success of our clients globally, fostering a sense of belonging that transcends borders and resonates with international students and their parents.”

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