JWT’s AnxietyIndex is designed as a place to discuss how brands and consumers are responding to the global recession. With daily content updates, AnxietyIndex.com includes contributions from around JWT’s network, offering a truly global perspective.
Two years ago around this time, we wrote about a campaign that attempted to allay anxiety over tax season by focusing on the brighter side of taxes: “Jackson Hewitt’s How You Do It,” which emphasized the joy of receiving the coveted refund check. This year, tax-prep software brand TurboTax is similarly looking at the silver lining of tax season by positioning it as a chance to take pride in one’s accomplishments of the past year.
Commercials in the campaign, dubbed “It’s Amazing What You’re Capable Of,” each highlight a life event that impacts taxes, like getting married, buying a house or having a child. The spots then lightheartedly describe how exciting these milestones are. Taxes are just “a recap. The story of your year. And that’s why we make the tools we make,” explains the spot “The Year of the You.” The voiceover goes on: “That’s why we do everything we do. Because we think you should be the one to tell that story.” Viewers are not likely to see tax prep in an entirely new light, but the commercials are a nice way to prompt them to feel a little more positive about the process.
A new year, a new tax season—and with it nightmares of audits, unexpected amounts owed and the panic of yet another impending April 15 deadline. It’s that time of year reserved for the begrudging acceptance of life’s other certainty. Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, however, is aiming to change those longstanding connotations—or at least remind taxpayers of the brighter side.
A new ad campaign, “Jackson Hewitt’s How You Do It,” highlights the potential reward of filing one’s return—the coveted refund check. One commercial, set to Montell Jordan’s 1995 track “This Is How We Do It,” shows customers and employees in a Jackson Hewitt office celebrating with awkward dance moves and exaggerated expressions after one customer earns a refund. Another ad begins with a girl falling in midair after her mother, who’s just heard about the family’s refund check, tosses her in joy at the news; more awkward dancing ensues.
Tax season may always conjure some anxiety, but Jackson Hewitt is right to emphasize the light at the end of the tunnel, especially since the company targets “Main Street Americans,” or moderate-income consumers who have struggled since the downturn, according to The New York Times. The prospect of dance-worthy good news could make those who normally rely on tax preparation software (or no help at all) think twice.