H&R Block and ABC to Sponsor ‘Millionnaire’ Promo

10 January 2001

Kansas City-headquartered global financial services giant H&R Block launches a massive $100 million Just Plain Smart marketing campaign next Monday with a joint promotion with ABC TV.

This will focus on all contestants who win cash prizes during the first four screenings of ABC’s ratings-runaway series, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Block will foot the tax bill for all winning participants and estimates that anyone scooping the top prize will save almost $400,000 in federal taxes, thanks to the promo. This will run in conjunction with a separate sweepstake offering a prize of up to $1 million to customers of Block's tax, mortgage or financial services.

The multimedia campaign is the debut by Block’s recently appointed agency, Interpublic-owned Campbell Mithun Esty of Minneapolis [WAMN: 20-Jun-00]. It will also run on TV, print, radio, and direct mail. There will also be promotional tie-ins with marketers including Amazon.com, Viacom’s Blockbuster unit, Microsoft and the Walt Disney Company – owner of ABC.

News source: New York Times