H&R Block knows taxes are complicated, but its experts are there to help

Who: H&R Block and Sid Lee, with Soft Citizen (production), Saints (editing), Hello Darling (colour and VFX) and Grayson Matthews (audio).

What: “It’s simple even when it’s complicated,” a new bilingual campaign for tax season. It’s Sid Lee’s third campaign for the tax preparation company, and builds on the “Get What’s Yours” campaign of the past two years.

When & Where: The integrated campaign breaks today (March 3) and runs through tax season. Campaign elements include TV, radio, social, digital and out-of-home.

Why: While H&R Block’s previous campaigns have focused on the people you shouldn’t trust with your taxes—such as your ex-wife or co-worker—this year’s campaign puts the emphasis on who you should, namely the H&R Block experts.

How: Three 15-second videos show H&R Block experts meeting with clients, who respond to questions about tax-related issues like number of dependents, employment status and relationship status with complicated answers that perhaps provide the tax preparer with a little more insight than required.

“We found that the milestones that make you feel like you’ve made it as an adult, such as finding stable employment, starting a family, buying a home or investing for the future, tend to also make tax season feel more complicated and stressful,” said Matt Fraracci, creative director, Sid Lee Toronto. “Playing on these complexities, we show that people are complicated too, and nothing brings out these complications like their taxes.”

When a man is asked about his employment status, for example, he responds: “Well, not all prisons have bars. Some have casual Fridays.” In each video, a person’s gloomy outlook on life is brightened by the news that they’re receiving a refund.

And we quote: “For the last two tax seasons, we’ve worked with Sid Lee to show Canadians why filing your taxes with a shadow preparer is never as good as using the experts at H&R Block. This year we wanted to focus more directly on the added benefits of trusting our experts—they’re experienced and caring people who are invested in finding the right way to help you get what’s yours, making your taxes feel simple no matter how complex they may seem.” — Hilary Zaharko, vice-president of marketing, H&R Block


Chris Powell