This Epic Business Story Plays Out Over 40 Years -- in an Elevator

Grey London and Glue Society's Gary Freedman Deliver Beautiful Film for HSBC

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Connoisseurs of "Mad Men" will know that elevators make great metaphors -- and some of the greatest dramatic moments occur within their four walls. In HSBC's latest ad, the story of a man and his business plays out over 40 years -- and all the action takes place in the elevator.

The spot, by Grey London, begins in 1974 and as the lift ascends, we follow the founder of the business through the years, from keen young entrepreneur to chairman of a multinational corporation, via marriage and kids, fights with partners, celebrations and retirements. He ages subtly throughout, while the fashions, hairstyles and everything else, from mobile phones to coffee cups, reflect the changing times. There are several great touches, such as the office romance that blossoms from flirting to pregnancy.

The ups and the downs of the business turn this banking ad into a moving tale that's as much about a life as it is about a corporation.

The spot was directed by the Glue Society's Gary Freedman through Independent Films. Mr. Freedman said in a statement: "Telling such an expansive story within the confines of a lift was a very interesting challenge, but that restriction allowed us to really develop creative, often unexpected, ideas."

The film, which will air globally on TV and inflight media, is part of HSBC's "It's Never Just Business" campaign, which launched last year with press, outdoor, digital and airport executions.

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Jun 10, 2015
Grey London
Creative Director:
Nick Rowland
Jamie Starbuck
Theo Bayani
Art Director:
Miguel Gonzales
Account Team:
Barbara Waite
Account Team:
Alex Clarke
Agency Producer:
Harriette Larder
Matthew Gladstone
Media Agency:
Media Planner:
Edward Fall
Production Company:
Independent Films
Gary Freedman- The Glue Society
Executive Producer:
Jani Guest
Jason Kemp
Director of Photography:
Stephanie Fontaine
Adam Spivey
Tom Johnson at The Mill
Soundtrack Composer:
Yann Tiersen
Audio Post-Production:
Sam Robson at 750 mph
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