HSBC – The Elevator Pitch

Only 45 per cent of British businesses succeed. This is often due to a lack of funding and business knowledge. So, while other banks were advertising business loans, HSBC decided to go further – providing small businesses with the skills to succeed.

The Elevator Pitch, devised by Grey London, is a content, live event and education-led project that positions HSBC firmly as champions of small business. The latest part of the agency’s It’s Never Just Business campaign, The Elevator Pitch comprises a series of talks from industry experts, helpful guides and a competition – where 10 exciting finalists from more than 1000 applicants pitched their ideas in 90 seconds for a chance to win £150,000.

An activation of 2014’s global TVC Lift, these Elevator Pitches had a twist: taking place in the elevator of London’s tallest building, the 95-story Shard.

The finalists – which included businesses as diverse as a manufacturer of biodegradable products, a unisex children’s clothing brand and a healthy jam producer – were invited to a two-day masterclass at The Shard, culminating in a live pitch to a panel of five business experts.

The top prize of £150,000 (plus expert business mentoring) was claimed by Northamptonshire-based craft gin makers Warner Edwards Distillery. Co-founder Tom Warner commented “The whole ethos of the competition seemed to be about turbo-charging the growth trajectory of the winning business, and it could certainly do that for us.”

“SMEs are at the heart of the UK economy and we are right behind them, whatever the size of their ambitions”, said Ian Stuart, HSBC Head of Commercial Banking, Europe.

Nicola Briggs, HSBC’s Head of Marketing, UK Commercial Banking, adds: “The Elevator campaign demonstrates how we can support UK businesses, not just financially, but also by connecting them to knowledge, insight, expertise and like-minded people. The Elevator Talks and Guides ensured that the as many businesses as possible could benefit from the content.”

Production company Just So worked with Grey to create an observational documentary-style series of informative and insightful webisodes and masterclasses.

This content is housed on a dedicated online hub, which, as well as filmic content, includes a series of business guides, expert masterclasses and business tools aimed at ambitious SME/MMEs. The campaign is being promoted through VOD and pre-roll ads, through social media, digital banners and through a content partnership with The Telegraph, which runs until the end of May.


Laura Piller, Head of Integrated Campaigns , CMB & GB&M
Nicola Briggs, Head of Marketing, CMB UK
Haytel Mistry, Campaign Manager, Global Marketing CMB & GB&M
Sophie Sweet, Integrated Campaigns Manager, Global Marketing CMB & GB&M
Creative Director: Nick Rowland
Creatives: Theo Bayani, Miguel Gonzales, Nick Rowland
Account team: Barbara Waite, Alex Clarke-Groom, Tom Vaughan, Claire Frean
Content team: Alex Wrigley
Agency producer: Harriette Larder
Creative producer: Julia Parry
Planner: Matt Gladstone
Media agency: Mindshare
Events agency: The Moment

Production company: Just So
Director: Marcus Liversedge
Executive Producer: Jono Stevens
Executive Producer: Jonny Madderson
Executive Producer: Ric Baldock
Producer: Steve Smith
Co-Producer: Jeannette Sutton
Story Edit Producer – Naz Karim
1st AD: Will Jasper
3rd AD: Andrew Richards
PD: Gemma Bagshaw
PD: Boris Gowan
Production Assistant: Matt Wilson
Director of Photography: Olly Wiggins
Camera Op: James Boyes
Camera Op: Keith Gubbins
Camera Op: Andy Walker
Focus Puller: James McLean Johnsen
Camera Asst: Alice Sephton
Camera Asst: Richard Shaw
Sound Recordist: Sean Smith
Sound Recordist: Dom Ollerenshaw
Sound Asst: Monica Gonzalez
Gaffer: Mark Gibbon
Spark: Alex Gibbon
Spark: Jonathan Woodward
Spark: Craig Palmer
DIT: Alan Andrade
Make Up: Jessica Richardson
Runner: Ionut Paliev
Runner: Esrael Alem

Post Production
Post Production Supervisor: Karolina Kostrzewa
Editor: Nathan Lindley
Editor: Steve Charles
Editor: Agathe Barbier
Editor: Terri Badham
Edit Asst: Ozlem Silva
Colourist: Dean Otusanya-Wood
Composer: Jessica Dannheisser
Music Supervisor: Justin Andree
Sound Design: Martin Schulz @ Sound Node
Animator: Ben Benton
Animator: Fiona Lin

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