Shocker! H&R Block Says You Should Do Your Taxes

Disses TurboTax as filing deadline looms

A few months back, TurboTax envisioned an idyllic world, whimsically suggesting that consumers engage its online preparation service for April 15 needs, freeing folks to concentrate on more pleasant pursuits.

Today, H&R Block launched ads of its own via Ogilvy New York. They rock a confrontational tone, dissing TurboTax by name.

The latter presented bright, breezy, feel-good scenes tinged with fantasy. Block delivers a sober dose of reality, showing subjects in silhouette, like witnesses or criminals, though their tongues remain firmly in cheek.

"TurboTax says, 'Don't do your taxes,'" a shadow-gal begins. "So, I got into pottery instead. It's going OK. Except for the bowls. Now, I don't get a refund and I'm covered in bisque."

Some shadow-guy adds: "I really got into plants. Then the flies came. So many flies. I can't get rid of the flies. I don't know what's more annoying: the flies, or never getting a tax refund."

Spots conclude, "Don't listen to TurboTax. Definitely do your taxes with H&R Block."

It's a matter of semantics. TurboTax never suggested you shouldn't file. Rather, the company said: We'll do your taxes for you. Which is Block's proposition, too. Each one's offering the same thing, people! 

"We see this as a continuation of our playful 'Tax Season' campaign that we started in January," Ogilvy creative directors Harry Barron and Todd Bradley tell Muse. "We saw the opportunity to hijack the conversation in the last week of tax season, when we knew millions of people still haven't filed. So we playfully turned our competitor's words against them."

Fine. Points for moxy. TurboTax's ads were cloying anyway. They made an oversaturated appeal at a time of year when everyone feels stressed and strapped.

Hire Block. Hire TurboTax. Neither can guarantee a sunny day or even peace of mind.


Jill Cress, Chief Marketing & Experience Officer 
Angela Davied, Vice President, Corporate Communications 
Wendy Fitch, Director of Advertising & Creative Studio 

Chris Beresford-Hill, President, Ogilvy Advertising N.A. 
Menno Kluin, Chief Creative Officer, New York 
Steve Fogel, Group Executive Creative Director 
Doug Fallon, Group Executive Creative Director 
Todd Bradley, Creative Director 
Harry Barron, Creative Director 
Andy Truong, Associate Creative Director
Sarah Arrington, Associate Creative Director
Nathan Kim, Junior Designer
Juliana Leandra, Senior Creative Project Manager 

Regan Wallace, Senior Producer 
Jessica Ryle, Producer
Deborah Steeg, Senior Business Manager 

Stephanie Ricke, Executive Partner, Global Chief of Staff
Emily Maier, Executive Group Director 
Drew Warren, Executive Vice President
Stefanie Schmit, Senior Vice President 
Rebecca Taylor, Account Director 

Iris Coldibelli, Group Strategy Director 

Ned Martin, Executive Post Producer
Jennefer Frangella, Senior Post Producer
Alexandra Smith, Editor
Vanessa Di Staulo, Animator
Magdalynn Nowotarski, Assistant Editor

Dante DeSole, VP Director of Audio
Collin Blendell, Senior Audio Engineer
Kyle St. Agathe, Associate A

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