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I Recommend Mom

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In early 2015, HSBC undertook a repositioning around a new brand territory: Supporting Human Ambition. Mindshare's objective was to make ‘Supporting Human Ambition’ more than just a set of corporate platitudes, it needed to truly connect with consumers. 

It needed to take a closer look at our customer base and ask – what could it be doing to better support customers and their ambitions? Where could it walk the talk of human ambition? HSBC decided to focus its attention on the consumers that are typically overlooked by financial institutions – the Stay-at-home-Mum.   

The UAE government officially only offers 45 calendar days of maternity leave which means that many women have to leave their jobs as they feel it is too early to return to work. However, they don’t want to give up their careers... on average 77% of mothers in the UAE are keen to get back to work according to a recent survey conducted by Mums@Work (YouGov, April 2016, UAE). Yet eight in 10 women are drained of self-belief and confidence around the 11-month mark when facing the idea of returning to work (Source: Association of Accounting Technicians commissioned research, UK. 2012). 

The opportunity was clear; it had a huge wealth of talent in the form of women who have had successful careers and then chosen to dedicate time to their families. And yet, for those who sought to revitalise their careers in a professional field, the resources – both practical and emotional – were inadequate or nonexistent. With Mother’s Day approaching, Mindshare spotted an opportunity to pay tribute to mums and help them take that first step in gearing up to reenter the workforce. 


‘I recommend Mom’ – a campaign that turned the concept of the recommendation letter on its head with children vouching for their mums and all they have achieved in their time away from the business world.   

Mother’s Day is a globally recognised holiday where mums and the efforts and sacrifices they make are brought to the forefront and celebrated. Mindshare believed this to be an opportune occasion to recognise the skills and aptitude that they developed and executed in their roles as ‘Mum’ and emphasise their transferability to the corporate world.   

It conceived and developed a tribute to Mums across the UAE with an online campaign video that featured kids as spokespeople for mothers who were on a break from their careers. The emotive content highlighted the fact they were never really on a break in the first place, and played testament to their initiative, creativity, resilience and determination, from the true judges of their competence; their kids.   

As a bank that is passionate about supporting human ambition however, it was determined to go beyond merely making a tribute to mothers. It further cemented its support of mums re-joining the workforce by hosting five free workshops on resume writing and interview skills. These workshops were designed to instill in the participants more than concrete skills training. They were also an opportunity to get some inspiration, boost confidence and enable networking among the attendees, as well as act as a catalyst to action for the women who attended. 


The execution was simple yet powerful. It started with a recognition that Facebook has replaced the daytime soap operas of years past: it is now the primary medium and window to the world that the core audience of stay-at-home-mums engage in; for information, for entertainment, for connection and community.   

The campaign thus kicked off with a video on the occasion of Mother’s Day, that addressed the challenges mothers face when looking to re-enter the business world, with children as the spokespeople, providing recommendations and vouching for mothers who had taken a “break” from their careers. Mindshare targeted mothers to drive engagement in the intended audience.  

The different elements of the video shed light on the accomplishments these mothers had achieved during their time away from the office with an end-message inviting Mums to submit their interest in securing a place in a free career re-entry workshop hosted by HSBC. 

This was then complemented with on the ground activities in the workshops. The agency carried out interviews post the workshops and featured them on Facebook so other mums could gain some perspective on the benefits. 


The campaign managed to achieve an outstanding shift in HSNC's core attribute ‘understands me and my personal ambitions in business’ from a negative to that of positive position. 

The Mother’s Day video achieved a reach of 1.5 million, with a total of 590k views and a 27% amplification rate. Engagement jumped from 6.6% to 10.3% after going live, with market benchmark for the category being 0.6%. 

The quality of engagement was also proof of the campaign’s resonance: with a total of 213 mentions, the key emotional sentiment expressed was ‘joy’ with 72% of users who had an active engagement (Source: Crimson Hexagon analysis). 

This was strong evidence that the story was relevant and resonated with the intended audience and beyond, and cemented HSBC's commitment to a worthy cause. It has now pledged to continue these efforts in years to come, and committed to making this an annual campaign.

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