H&R Block: Never Settle For Less

Category: Renaissance
Brand/Client: H&R Block
Lead Agency: Fallon
Contributing Agencies: OMD

Strategic Challenge

H&R Block invented the tax preparation category with a simple premise stated in a black and white newsprint ad that ran in the Kansas City Star in 1955: "We can save you much more than our nominal charge when we prepare your tax return." At the time, the cost for tax preparation was $5. Fifty years later, with 10,000 offices and over 100,000 tax professionals, H&R Block stood at the top of the "paid-prep" category, annually completing over 20 million U.S. tax returns.

The problem? Their fees had climbed to an average well over $150 per filing, positioning them as the most expensive paid-prep retailer in the market—and trust us, our competitors such as Jackson Hewitt and Liberty Tax made sure everyone knew this fact. In addition, each year more and more people were choosing to file taxes themselves through digital filing methods. For example, TurboTax, a company that in just ten years had grown to become the category leader in tax preparation preparing over 21 million U.S. returns annually and with little overhead, could afford to outspend H&R Block by tens of millions of dollars.