For students, studying abroad means leaving everything behind and living in a different part of the world, alone, for the first time. The distance and separation can feel overwhelming. In fact, 92 percent of international students suffer from homesickness. But what does it mean to miss home? Home isn’t just a location – it’s a whole sensory experience. Studies have shown that of all the senses, sounds are the most missed.

HSBC believes that “Together We Thrive,” and they want their students to thrive too. So we enlisted foreign student influencers to ask their communities which sounds from their home countries they most missed. Then, armed with microphones, they located the crowd-sourced sounds in their local areas and captured them in binaural stereo.

The sounds were meticulously transformed into evocative soundscapes that students could access anytime, anywhere on digital platforms, giving them the magical experience of being at home.

STRATEGY & EXECUTION

The campaign was targeted at foreign students from Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, India, Hong Kong and China (countries known to have the highest number of students studying internationally). First, an influencer campaign would engage foreign student audiences and elicit user-generated responses to discover which sounds they most missed when studying abroad. Next, the influencers would step out into their local areas, armed with microphones, and track down the requested sounds to record – all the time sharing their experiences with online followers.

Then, digital craft would take over. The sounds, captured in binaural stereo, would be meticulously transformed in to magical, evocative soundscapes that students could access anytime, anywhere to give them that experience of being at home. Intricate animations would lift the soundscapes further, giving them a visual life too.

THE IMPACT

  • 172 million earned media impressions
  • 30+ posts published among four influencers
  • 54 placements earned across targeted global publications such as Financial Times and Bloomberg
  • 86k influencer post engagements with 920k total impressions