Life Cycle


HSBC UK has recently signed one of the largest partnerships in sporting history: an 8-year deal with British Cycling, which covers all forms of cycling from grassroots events right up to Team GB. Our mission is to get two million people back on their bikes for a healthier and happier Britain by 2020, by connecting people with what they loved about cycling to begin with, and in so doing spark reappraisal of the brand.

J. Walter Thompson London, as lead creative agency of WPP ‘Team Peloton’ for HSBC has crafted a strategy and programme to get people back on their bikes. Rather than starting with a traditional campaign, it was important for us to have a grassroots approach that could inspire the nation from within.

Firstly we developed a calendar of social activity that spurred people on to sign up at their local HSBC City Ride, cycling events providing traffic free fun in iconic cities across the UK. This included inspirational photography from the events themselves, that proved the ease and excitement of cycling.

We also commissioned the photographer Darran Rees, as part of an open brief to go out and document the diversity of grassroots cycling across the UK, from young kids on BMX’s, city commuters, to alternative cycling communities. These wonderful human portraits sought to reconnect our viewers with their latent love of cycling. The inspirational message was reinforced through owned platforms, such as the website landing page and in branch activation.

And further content was developed to make people aware of the broader partnership. Our film ‘Life Cycle’ (directed by Jesper Ericstam) follows a man as he travels back in time, remembering all the best bits about getting out on his bike, and urges viewers to rediscover their inner cyclist. This is running on HSBC social and VOD, in HSBC branches and at the City Ride events that are running over the summer. A content partnership was also developed via Mindshare Worldwide, with the hit Channel 4 show ‘The Secret Life of 4, 5, 6 year olds’. You can find the charming films on HSBC social channels.

Over the next couple of weeks, we'll be showcasing the work in reception. We’ve also hired one of the vintage Raleigh Choppers, as featured in our film! Please show your support where you can, by sharing or retweeting HSBC social posts. To get inspired, please go online to check out