HSBC, Safe Spaces – Case Study

Spitalfields Market, June 2023

Who – HSBC

One in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetimes. Domestic abuse often comes in the form of financial abuse, with abusers not giving their victims access to their own finances.

Working with domestic abuse charity Hestia, HSBC launched their ‘Safe Space’ initiative in every branch.

These provide people experiencing domestic abuse a safe space to seek support and advice to regain control of their finances through a non-traceable bank account.



HSBC and Hestia needed to raise awareness with a compelling and engaging experiential OOH campaign in an iconic location.

The key objective here was to drive mass awareness of the initiative and get people talking about the issue on social media.

blowUP media, PHD Media and Talon were able to identify the perfect location – on blowUP’s Spitalfields Market banner. In the heart of the City of London, the market is visited by 180,000 people a week giving the campaign huge exposure.



To create maximum impact, the creative execution needed to be compelling and draw in passers-by. A female actor was attached to the banner at their wrists and ankles, using 5 large ropes.

Each rope was connected to a large hand on the creative – giving the impression of the actor being controlled like a puppet on a string. As the actor continually tried to pull away from the hand, she was dragged back, unable to break free from their abuser’s control.

This was the very first time this creative concept had been used before, and the activation gained large traction on social media. Many social media users were learning about financial domestic abuse and discovering the ‘Safe Space’ initiative.


This campaign was vitally important in raising awareness of a crucial social issue and was a great example of how experiential OOH in a key location can deliver huge results.

The key metric was to raise awareness and encourage people to talk about this issue online, specifically via social media. In total, 365 social users captured images and videos of the Spitalfields campaign and shared their stories, whilst tagging HSBC UK. A number of these tweets gained huge traction on social media with a large number of likes, retweets and comments.


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