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Just to sum up what everyone has worked out about the advert since it seems that it did make some sense if you’re more knowledgeable about markets, children’s books and life than me.

Calmgrove  – the bear is Paddington who was from darkest Peru and could talk. I suspect this is an invoke sweet things trick to mask their devilish intent.

Jasper Hoogendam – Winnie the Pooh was originally from Winniepeg, hence the name. Not in the ad, but still interesting.

Colin McQueen – in rugby the Lions have a coach from New Zealand (kiwi) and the cheeky chicken refers to ‘having a cheeky Nandos’. I have no idea what either has to do with banks.

Shaily Agrawal/ – pointed out that bear is a market term for someone who takes risks. I don’t really want my bank to take risks, because that’s what caused the economic crash last time. Maybe that’s the subliminal bit, they rename recklessness as ‘open mindedness’ and then throw in the bear.

I, after a foolishly long time, worked out that being shut on bank holidays is what banks do.

So to translate

Keep an open mind because being open minded has opened doors to Paddington Bear, who’s secretly a risk-taking banker; rugby coaches from New Zealand; and a cheeky Nandos. Now is not the time to batten down the hatches, it’s time to stay open, except when we’re shut. Because we are not an island, well we are, all the surrounding water makes that clear, but people can still visit, which is nice. And the world is big, and it has bears and lions, unlike the UK which only just got bears and has no lions to speak of.

But what are you talking about ?

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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?