New H&R Block ad campaign giddily invites tax payers into the fold.
January 25, 2013
A gal walks into an H&R Block store and informs the accountant she hasn’t filed her taxes in years, dumping boxes of paperwork on his desk. At which point, the H&R Block Rep tells her to “bring it on!” He claims her unpaid taxes are “like a puzzle.” He is downright giddy at the prospect of getting this woman “the biggest tax refund possible.”
Hmmm. I should think the strategy is keeping her out of jail.
Regardless, H&R Block’s new ad campaign from Fallon seems hell bent on promising a super positive outcome to any would-be taxpayers who traipse through their doors.
In a second spot, another exuberant H&R Block professional informs us that many people don’t know the “Affordable Health Care Act and Taxes are connected.” Not to worry, the woman says. She read the entire 900 pages. “It literally took me weeks.” She knows the law. She has a solution. “We’re going to see this through together.” All smiles this one.
Crisply shot in arresting black and white, these presumably real accountants are explosively happy. Imagine Match.com trying to hook up taxpayers and accountants. That’s the vibe of these spots.
It’s a good myth. If I were in (or potentially in) deep shit with the IRS I would cry tears of joy knowing my salvation is so easily available and happily provided. I’m genuinely surprised that H&R Block can legally make claims like these about filing claims like those. Let alone be so happy about it.
But I’m not the Better Business Bureau. Like I said, this is a good myth for the brand. Maybe even a grand one. Not only does the campaign mitigate the fear and loathing wrapped up in taxes it does a similar job on H&R Block’s arguably tired and crummy image. Rightly or wrongly, I still think of them as being a pop up store in a strip mall, between the currency exchange and Pita Hut. The protagonists in these TVC’s do not look like they work at a place like that. Along those same lines, it seems like H&R Block aspires to do far more complicated tax work than ever before. I recall going there a year into my first job, before marriage, children, homeownership and a zillion other things made filing my taxes a complicated nightmare. Perhaps this new H&R Block wants me back.