Marketing Featured APAC

Carbon takes on Standard Chartered’s brand colors in new ad for net zero commitment

Singapore – Global banking institution Standard Chartered has released a new ‘colorful’ ad that aims to reiterate the danger of carbon emission to the environment and the bank’s commitment to helping to achieve the net-zero goal by 2050. 

The bank recently announced its new net-zero approach which aims to mobilize US$300b in green and transition financing in helping clients reach net-zero targets and to reduce absolute financed thermal coal mining emissions by 85 percent by 2030, among others.

“Carbon – it’s helped build everything we have, but to keep moving forward, we need to leave carbon behind,” said the ad.

Developed together with creative agency TBWA\Singapore, the ad rightly focuses on the imagery of carbon, where ‘carbon’ is the ‘star’ from start to finish. From a massive cloud of black carbon enveloping the community, it is eventually met with carbon in Standard Chartered’s bright brand colors of blue and green symbolizing how the bank is stepping in to help impede the growing environmental hazard.

TBWA\Singapore said that with the ad, which used an underwater technique to deliver the stunning imagery of smoke, they aimed to move beyond the clichéd visuals typically associated with sustainability communications.

“While the conversations around sustainability and carbon transition have been re-energized in recent months, the depiction of these initiatives in mainstream advertising is anything but fresh,” said Asheen Naidu, global creative director at TBWA\Singapore.

Naidu adds, “To disrupt the sea of sameness and really get our message noticed, we opted for a more artistic approach – partnering with the brilliant Eben Mears of Psyop, to tell the story of a world under threat and visualizing how Standard Chartered is working to minimize and ultimately remove that threat.”

The ad was produced by production studio Psyop. According to the campaign’s team, they used a unique production technique involving jets of food colorant in a water tank, creating the illusion of smoke engulfing a city and its residents. As the black clouds billow through the 3D-printed underwater model, two more jets of colorant are then introduced – this time Standard Chartered’s signature blue and green brand colors.

The StanChart team further shared that the film was developed without CGI and shot using a high-speed robotic motion control system, allowing the camera to move through the model city at precise angles and speeds. The jets were also carefully controlled to create sharp, vivid footage of the food colorant flowing through water at varying pressures and speed in the aim to create a captivating film that artistically showcases the role of the bank in transitioning to a carbon-free future.

Emma Sheller, global head of brand and marketing at Standard Chartered, commented, “Coinciding with the recent announcement of Standard Chartered’s pathway to Net-Zero, the new campaign leverages the power of creativity to portray our commitments to tackling climate change and helping countries and businesses accelerate their transition to carbon neutrality.”

According to the team, to stay true to the theme of the campaign, the film production had an exceptionally low carbon footprint, and the entire shoot was conducted remotely with the agency in Singapore, director in New York, and production team in Germany.