A Blue Poster With Green Fingers

The bank HSBC installed billboards whose life-giving lights made Manhattan a little greener.

von Maud Largeaud , AdForum

You’re probably aware that plants need light to grow. But did you know that photosynthesis is enhanced by certain waves of the light spectrum – like blue, for instance? The bank HSBC has pledged to reduce its environmental impact and help its clients do the same. In order to communicate the initiative, the bank and its agency Wunderman Thompson created billboards with blue backlighting, and installed them right next to the rare green spaces in Manhattan. So while talking about sustainability, the bank also shed some growth-giving light on urban plants. A rare example of posters that contributed something life-enhancing to the cityscape. 

Über Wunderman Thompson

At Wunderman Thompson we exist to inspire growth for ambitious brands. Part creative agency, part consultancy and part technology company, our experts provide end-to-end capabilities at a global scale to deliver inspiration across the entire brand and customer experience.  
We are 20,000 strong in 90 markets around the world, where our people bring together creative storytelling, diverse perspectives, inclusive thinking, and highly specialized vertical capabilities, to drive growth for our clients. We offer deep expertise across the entire customer journey, including communications, commerce, consultancy, CRM, CX, data, production, and technology. 
In 2020, Wunderman Thompson launched Inspire, a proprietary global platform that explores what makes brands inspiring and what inspires consumers. Rooted in a rigorous, multidimensional research methodology, the platform identifies the qualities a brand must embody, the narratives it should weave, and the experiences it can design in order to spark people’s inspiration, and culminates in an annual list of the Inspire Score Top 100 Most Inspiring Brands in the World.
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Wunderman Thompson Benelux partnered with chef Dominique Persoone to create a tiny cake that prevents hunger-fuelled impulse shopping

Each year, food waste from households, retail establishments and the food service industry totals 931 million tonnes. Nearly 570 million tonnes of this waste occurs at the household level.

To raise awareness of this issue and join the fight against food waste, Wunderman Thompson Benelux, alongside the Agriculture and Fish Fisheries Department and the Public Waste Agency of Flanders, have created ‘Shopcakes’, a smart snack that can be consumed before grocery shopping to prevent hunger-fuelled impulse buying.

Wunderman Thompson Benelux partnered with chef Dominique Persoone to devise a recipe using carefully selected ingredients that both satisfy hunger and offer a way of using products that often end up going to waste. The ‘Shopcakes’ contain:

-       Banana, full of satisfying natural sugar

-       Nuts, to help people feel fuller for longer

-       Whole-wheat bread, full of fiber to satisfy the stomach

-       Flaxseed to stimulate hormones that satisfy hunger

-       Dark chocolate, which adds bitterness and helps people feel sated

To launch the campaign, the ‘Shopcakes’ were handed out at the Colruyt Laagste Prijzen shop in Brugge-Sint-Pieters to fill shoppers up before they started their food shop so they weren’t buying unnecessary items that would eventually end up going to waste.

Jan Verheyen at OVAM said: “In Belgium, 63% of Flemish people say they hate to throw away food, but every year, the average Flemish family throws 88kg of food in the bin. For the whole of Flanders, Belgium, this translates to 240,925 tonnes of food being wasted every year. We want people to be more mindful about their shopping and stop buying vast quantities of food that up being thrown away unnecessarily. With these cakes, Dominique has effectively solved food waste with food waste to show people just how easy it is to create a snack that will fill them up while they’re running their errands. We’re confident these delicious cakes will do their part in the fight against food waste and raise awareness of the huge quantities of food that are wasted and, in many cases, could be saved.”

Manuel Ostyn, Creative Director at Wunderman Thompson Benelux said: “Food waste is a huge issue globally, so we wanted to launch a campaign that would encourage people to use surplus food in a circular way. We were delighted to partner with Dominique who has brought our idea to life by creating a delicious product that people can easily replicate at home, and we’re confident these small but mighty cakes will play their part in the fight against food waste.”

Chef Dominique Persoone added: “To a chef, throwing away food really is sinful. To combat the issue, we went in search of ingredients that not only taste great, but help you stay fuller for longer. We found ingredients such as chocolate, bananas, nuts, and bread often get thrown away because they’re perceived to be past their use-by date, so we created these ‘Shopcakes’ to hand out to people before they shop to quell their hunger. What’s more, is these ingredients will be found in most homes, so can easily be made from leftover ingredients to ensure the food doesn’t go to waste.”