But what are you talking about ?


I look at this advert every morning while waiting for the train, but it’s nonsense, isn’t it? Can anyone give me a hand? Does it have a subliminal message? Or had they run out of ideas so decided to blurt out any old bollocks?

It’s for the bank HSBC. Maybe it’s like adverts for alcohol – they aren’t allowed to say a highly toxic product is nice, so they go all surreal instead. Or maybe they feel such contempt for the public that they believe we’ll be humbled by whatever they say.

The text:

Keep an open mind because being open minded has opened doors to talking bears from darkest Peru Kiwis who can coach lions and Portuguese chicken that’s cheeky. Now is not the time to batten down the hatches, it’s time to stay open. Except on bank holidays. Because we are not an island we are part of something far far bigger.

Thoughts that have occurred to my morning addled brain as I stare across the tracks…

  • Is Peru dark?
  • I like to think I’m open minded, when am I going to open a door to a talking bear?
  • Is this about a circus?
  • If that’s a Brexit reference, it’s only going to annoy people.
  • Most things open on bank holidays now. Are they thinking of decades ago?
  • Is this supposed to make me want to open a bank account? It doesn’t.

So anyone got any ideas as to what this might be on about? Does it make you want to switch to HSBC?

43 thoughts on “But what are you talking about ?

  1. The talking Peruvian bear is of course Paddington, but I don’t know the rest, nor care. I think it’s a way of almost subliminally planting the bank’s kite logo in your memory, they must be anxious that their profile isn’t as high as it used to be…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh, I didn’t know Paddington was Peruvian! Thanks for that. Sorry to have furthered the planting of the kite logo, maybe they are paying me as their shill o_O

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Whereas Winnie the Pooh who ended up in British animal jail (zoo) and is the topic of many delightful children’s books comes from Canada. More specifically Winnipeg- hence the abbreviated name.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Poor old Pooh, should have been allowed to roam free in Canada. Glad he got out the jail though!


  2. Kiwis who can coach Lions is I think about a New Zealand coach (Warren Gatland) for the Lions (rugby). Portuguese chicken – not a scooby. What any of it has to do with a bank – who knows. Subliminal message that has done its job. we’re all talking about it and some of us, some time, when we think about opening a bank account will remember it was HSBC. Me? I’ll just be annoyed that I don’t understand the chicken reference and hold it against them always…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm, I feel like I need to deface the logo and stick it on here to compensate for spreading their message. Maybe adorn the red and white triangles with kittens on fire so the association is only bad. Can I get sued for that?


    1. Your grandson sounds very serious. I’ve been told I need to see both films, maybe if I got some popcorn in I’d have more incentive.


  3. You know what? I had no clue what the board is talking about. I realised it is might be a share market reference, because Bear is a term used for people who take risks. And I knew the rest must be related to games. But I am not a sports person and we don’t play rugby in India. Even after I learnt about reference from the chat here, I still don’t understand the message. “Keeping An Open Mind, except on Bank Holidays?”
    If they are trying to say that they “stay open on Holidays”, they really need to update their English.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There’s an awful lot of big animals in money terminology. I think if we had a few mice and sloth markets it would be a safer economy. (wait, are there mice and sloth markets?)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t know that about bears, I love it! Although I don’t want the banks to take risks, because that’s what led to the crash in the first place.

      ‘Bank holidays’ are Mondays when the banks are shut, I think it’s only a UK thing.

      You are absolutely right though, they DO need to update their English. Unfortunately English people are the worst at English, we never learn it properly at school.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s so vague it’s like a distraction technique, but since I wasn’t paying any attention to them anyway, I’m not sure why they need to put up a huge advert just to divert my attention. Very odd.

      Maybe there have just been too many adverts over the years and now they’ve run out. They’ll start recycling the old ones soon. We’ll be back to ‘A Mars a day helps you work rest and play!’


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