Marketing-speak to enrich life’s defining moments

A letter from HSBC. The first sentence starts with a dangling participle, drops the word ‘enhancements’ – a sure sign of impending crap – and makes the guru-cult-like promise of ‘deeper inspiration’. Then it gets bad…

‘Going forward’, the letter advises that they are ditching the bizarre ‘Jade by HSBC Premier’ name for the product/service/thing in question. (Heard of this before… Yes – I hate to say I told you so, but I did. All you had to do was listen.)

The tone shifts from inane to creepy, as the letter informs me that HSBC will ‘build a deeper and more considered understanding’ of my personal tastes, which frankly are none of their damn business.

It then seems to offer some sort of help with regard to ‘dining’ and ‘enriching life’s defining moments’. Could this mean they send someone over to do the washing up? If so, I could get excited. That’s what this bank client would call ‘adding value’, assuming they can’t (say) raise interest rates on time deposits.

(Wearing my HSBC shareholder hat, I must say fatter margins and miserable benefits for customers suit me fine. Not sure I should be complaining. But does the marketing have to be such drivel?)

Further down, the letter mentions the word ‘bespoke’, but I will spare everyone because it’s a Friday.

I declare the weekend open with a couple of eye-raising charts, which are of course connected. This one shows Hong Kong housing prices versus other cities since 2005 (see also this one, and full FT article on our aging tycoons and their scions). And this seriously freaky one shows private credit growth in China versus the rest of the world – spot when the Communist Party ran out of ideas.


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9 Responses to Marketing-speak to enrich life’s defining moments

  1. Tamey Tame says:

    Interestingly a bit of Googling suggests Jade is for customers with (US) $1m-$5m of investable assets.

    This CIA/MI5/whoever you’re supposedly working for now lark must pay well!

  2. Colonial Dinosaur says:

    I take this kind of drivel to mean that you are going to be inundated with more unsolicited marketing crap from it’s partners…

  3. Knownot says:

    For the weekend

    The MTR will run
    Hong Kong’s high-speed rail
    But one thing can’t be done:
    It cannot put on sale
    Tickets to all stations.

    This is rather strange,
    But China isn’t able
    To manage or arrange
    To run a data cable.
    There are ‘negotiations’.

    In the Terminus we accept
    What wasn’t clear before:
    Force majeure has crept
    Inside the Basic Law,
    Which is only minor.

    But someone please explain
    Why we really need
    To board a super-train
    And travel at high speed
    To somewhere in south China.

    [with acknowledgement to Chris Maden for ‘run a data cable’]

  4. Henry says:

    A few companies like HSBC, say HKT, Cathay maybe, have staff who are brainwashed into believing that their customers have nothing better to do, indeed are dying to receive, digest and act upon their nonsensical communications. I hate to piss on their parade, but I don’t leap out of bed in the morning yelling “goodie! I get to call HSBCs shite call centre today!”

  5. “A deeper and more considered understanding of your interests, preferences and tastes” = “a better idea of what kind of adverts you’re likely to respond to”. The same thing Facebook, Google, etc. are doing. The only way out is to go and live in a cave in the mountains with no Internet connection.

  6. Big Al says:

    @ Old Newcomer
    Or on Cheung Chau

  7. Ook says:

    So you are identified as mid-rich (USD$1m-$5m) by HSBC. Honestly, it looks like HSBC’s marketing department thinks your goal is to piss that money away, but that you perhaps lack the ability to do this without their helpful suggestions.

  8. Hermes says:

    I just hate those danglers…

  9. Chris Maden says:

    @Old Newcomer – The new, ticketless railway station should be safe from internet marketing too…

    @Knownot – nice one!

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