H&R Block's Goofy Mascot Suits Up for Tax Season
Imagine a huge-headed college football-style mascot that hands out medals and trophies during tax season. Now, subtract the NCAA angle and you'll get a notion of Ogilvy New York's latest work for H&R Block.
Max the mascot headlines silly spots that began dropping yesterday. They focus on products and services including the brand's AI Tax Assist offering. The work casts Block as a helpful coach/teammate/cheerleader for individuals, the self-employed folks and small-business owners.
"As all great campaigns do, we started with the business objective. For H&R Block, that's to dislodge taxpayers from their current provider," Wendy Fitch, VP of brand, content and insights, tells Muse. "Whether a customer prioritizes quick access to their money and financial resources, or expertise in managing intricate tax situations, H&R Block provides what many others don't. 'It's Better With Block' highlights how we solve real problems taxpayers are facing."
But, why lean on such a kooky character?
"Max represents H&R Block's brand promise and expertise and care," Fitch says, describing him as a "taxcot." (And now we can't unhear it.)
"While mascots are prevalent in industries such as insurance, they are less frequently used when talking about taxes. Because Max made a cameo appearance in our 2023 campaign and local market activations and became an unexpected hit, we saw an opportunity for him to take on a bigger role this year."
Fitch says his name represents advantages the brand seeks to offer, such as "Max experience, Max convenience, Max accuracy, Max care and Max refunds."
On set, the dude was all about Max appeal.
"He was the life of the party," Fitch recalls. "We all were laughing and having so much fun watching the dichotomy of our tax leaders talking about taxes while this giant mascot is in the background sprinkling confetti, handing out sashes or just nodding along to the conversation."
Max's bespectacled, Block-headed presence helps ease consumers into the funnel, soft-selling brand attributes during a potentially stressful time of year.