TurboTax Introduces Us to a Tax-Free World. (As If!)

There's so much more to life

Taking great care to mention will be advertising in the Super Bowl for the 10th year running, Intuit’s TurboTax introduces us to the work it plans to run with. 

Get a load of "Not Taxes," the official hero ad for the "Come to TurboTax" campaign, brought to you by Wieden+Kennedy Portland with director Fiona McGee of Arts & Sciences:

The whimsical background music and dreamy atmosphere lend the film a childlike Wes Anderson vibe. We meet an idyllic tax-free world, seasoned with some of the meandering people have engaged in since Covid ground “the grind” to a halt: Weird art projects, isolated outdoor exploration, improbable and awkward romances.

Of course, this isn’t actually a tax-free world. What TurboTax actually proposes is paying someone else—specifically one of their experts—to do them so you can do whatever else you’d rather do.

“After decades of leadership in the online tax preparation category, TurboTax has become synonymous with DIY,” says Cathleen Ryan, SVP of marketing for Intuit TurboTax. “With this year’s campaign, we’re changing that narrative by letting customers know they can come to TurboTax and NOT do their taxes.” 

It's counterintuitive, in the midst of recession, to basically say "pay somebody to do something you've probably been doing yourself for years and years." But maybe TurboTax is hitting a nerve here. Ryan’s statement suggests TurboTax gets the difference between the playful DIY some of us have discovered and are loath to give up—like making banana bread, or getting really into plant propagation—and the crushing, exhausting logic of bootstrapping literally everything on your own.

Muse's #WFH Diaries told us over and over that we need communities, because interdependence with other people helps facilitate our lives. Money is subject to its own rationale—for most of us, it will come and go at dizzying intervals—but the time to explore parts of ourselves, and our shared worlds, is a commodity that can’t be recuperated once lost.

The campaign marks the third year that TurboTax puts emphasis on its Live offering, where filers are matched with human tax experts who can dig into their unique situations, then prepare, sign and file the stuff so you don’t have to.

“We believe that TurboTax has the best assisted tax experience in the market,” Ryan continues. “People can sit down from the comfort and privacy of home and in one meeting, have their taxes prepared, signed, filed and then get back to doing what they love: Not Taxes.”

“Come to TurboTax” includes seven films that culminate in its Super Bowl LVII spot. It will run on broadcast, digital, audio and social, with digital partnerships with Roku, Twitch, Spotify, and BuzzFeed, and will appear on ad-supported Netflix plans. TurboTax will also be the presenting sponsor of both the AFC and NFC Divisional and Championship Games.

Check out the rest of the spots below. There's one with an '80s soundtrack (it's "True"!) and a pair of ads in Spanish.

CREDITS

W+K PORTLAND
CCOs: Ana Balarin, Hermeti Balarin, John “JP” Petty III
Creative Directors: Patty Orlando, Kevin Jones
Art Director: Caitlin Alexander, Hernan Pettinaroli, Jason Turner
Copywriter: Brooke Barker, Juan Vassallo, Joe Albert
Head of Production: Orlee Tatarka
Executive Producer: Katie McCain
Producer: Sydni Chustz, Kacey Klonsky
Creative Operations Manager: Lauren Walker, Sebastian Obando 
Design Director: David Trujillo 
Designer: Reshi Dev, Reena Chai, Seth Shelman 
Design Producer: Tara Nielsen
Studio Specialist: Vicki Liu 
Group Strategy Director: Brooke-Lynn Howard 
Strategy Director: Christian Clay
Group Media Director: Kim Sizemore
Group Brand Director: Tobey Bennett
Brand Director: Megan Riehl
Brand Manager: Kyler Spickler, Lindsay Varquez

Brand Executive: Hector Martinez
Assistant Brand Executive: Kieran Yancy
Head of Business Affairs: Amber Lavender
Senior Business Affairs Manager: Nancy Espinal
Business Affairs Manager: Tim Bell
Talent Payment: Tim Bell
Broadcast Traffic: Maisie Plew, Gregory Depp, Katie Hall
Copyediting: James Yu

Intuit TurboTax
SVP of Marketing: Cathleen Ryan
VP Marketing Strategy & Brand: Monica Muilenburg 
Director of Brand Marketing: Jamie Lasser 
Senior Marketing Manager: Whitley Diffin
Marketing Manager: Amy Wise

PRODUCTION 
Production Company: Arts & Sciences
Director: Fiona McGee
Managing Director/Partner: Mal Ward
Managing Partner/Executive Producer: Marc Marrie
Executive Producer/Director of Production: Christa Skotland
Head of Production: Milena Milicevic
Line Producer: Patrick Harris

Director of Photography: Ross Giardina
Production Design/Art Direction: Clement Price - Thomas
1st AD: Mark Robinson

EDITORIAL
Editorial Company: Joint
Editors: Eric Hill and JB Jacobs
Cutting Assistants: Charlie Harrington, CJ Duncan
Assistant Editors: Kris Faris, Molly Preston
Post Producer: Jenny Greenfield
Associate Producer: Izzie Raitt
Head of Production: Catherine Liu
Post Executive Producer: Kathleen Russell

VFX
VFX Company: A52
Creative Director: Andres Barrios
VFX Supervisor: Matt Sousa
2D Artists: John Valle, Richard Hirst, Michael Vaglienty
Matte Painter: Nick Sullo
Head of CG: Andy Wilkoff
CG Supervisor: Adrian Grey 
3D Artists: Jose Limon, Ryan Taylor, Joey Bettinardi, Joseph
Creative Director: Chiechi Benjamin Woodlock
Designers: Sky Bird, Liz Margiotta

Senior Animator: Richard “Trix” Taylor
Senior VFX Producer: Ashlee Buss
Executive Producers: Patrick Nugent, Kim Christensen
Shoot Supervisor: Andres Barrios
Managing Director: Jennifer Sofio Hall
Head of 3D Production: Alex Ramos

COLOR
Company: Company 3
Senior Color Producer: Shannen Troup 
Colorist: Tom Poole

MUSIC
RC Car: “No Speed Limit” by Forever/Jonas Wikstrand (Score a Score)
Fusion Food: “Food Fusion” by Erick Lee (Hook and Line)
Explorer: “No Turning Back” by Lee Baker (APM)
Water: “True” by Spandau Ballet
Not Taxes: “Plantasia” by Mort Garson

SOUND DESIGN / MIX
Company: Field Day Sound
Sound Design and Mix: Noah Woodburn, Morgan Johnson
Executive Producer: Leslie Carthy

Profile picture for user Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is a founding contributor to Muse. She is also the co-founder of esports agency Hurrah.gg, and co-author of Generation Creation.

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