Tax season isn’t typically a time people look forward to, making it all the more important for tax preparation brands to engage consumers in ways that feel warm and helpful. These past advertising campaigns from tax brands including H&R Block, TurboTax and TaxAct all illustrate inclusive, funny and accessible approaches to meeting taxpayer needs and providing valuable services.
‘Block Has Your Back’
H&R Block Tax Preparation Advertising Highlights The Ease Of Tax Preparation
“Our research over the last year found many unresolved pain points for consumers when they file their taxes,” said former H&R Block chief marketing officer Vinoo Vijay in 2018. “We are focused on delivering the industry’s leading tax experience, whether online or in person. And our advertising this season  spotlights how some of these important advances help consumers make the most of their tax filing.”
The H&R Block ‘Block has your back’ campaign, in 2018, focused on how the difficulties of other tax services – including long wait times and poor communication – can be resolved by filing either in-person or online with H&R Block. By using the same brand ambassador in all the spots, H&R Block offers a go-to person consumers can trust to be real and simplify complex tax issues while emphasizing the H&R Block “modern, innovative and consumer-focused experience.”
‘All People Are Tax People’
TurboTax Tax Preparation Advertising Campaign Promotes Tax Preparation For Everyone
Last year, TurboTax culminated their “All People Are Tax People” campaign with two Super Bowl commercials. The longer spot featured a whole rap dedicated to taxes and the knee wobble dance, which TurboTax spun off into a sweepstakes competition and user-generated content (UGC) campaign encouraging TurboTax consumers to dance the #W2Step and wobble their knees for a chance to win $5000. And, while the spot doesn’t emphasize any one feature of TurboTax, the message of unity and alikeness is one the brand wanted to share. “With the Super Bowl, we are creating a moment, at the height of tax season, to inspire and empower fans, and celebrate what unites us,” said Mary-Ann Somers, former senior vice president at TurboTax’s parent company Intuit. “We believe that people are capable of amazing things and, with the right tools and encouragement, they can do anything — including their taxes.”
Gig Workers Unique Tax Preparation Needs Are The Focus Of TaxAct Tax Preparation Advertising Campaign
In 2018, TaxAct, a tax preparation software company, created a campaign that addressed a growing “cultural truth” among American workers — the gig life. From freelancers to dog walkers, the gig economy has grown 15% over the last decade, and gig workers often have unique tax filing needs. The TaxAct campaign emphasized the two proprietary tools designed with gig workers in mind: the Deduction Maximizer and the $100K Accuracy Guarantee. “These [gig workers] are hardworking people in very fluid circumstances. They don't need a filing partner that panders to them. They need a year-round partner with tools to help them navigate the tax system," said Mathieu Stevenson, former CMO of TaxAct parent Blucora. By differentiating their services and targeting niche audiences, TaxAct is able to appeal to a specific demographic in a unique way.
More than 90% of Americans file their taxes online, and they all want a seamless, easily accessible service that will do the job right without being overly complex. Tax preparation brands that can create trust and understanding are likely to gain repeat customers and garner word-of-mouth referrals. By tapping into the needs of taxpayers, especially those who may be experiencing some changes to their taxes this year, brands can increase engagement and sign ups and scale revenues.
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