H&R Block brings back Tax Pain campaign

H&R Block has launched the fourth installment of its “Tax Pain” campaign, offering a cure for the annual pain in the butt that is tax season. The English language campaign, developed by the brand’s creative agency of record, One Advertising, includes radio, print, direct marketing, out-of-home and digital ads along with four TV spots: “Doctor […]

H&R Block has launched the fourth installment of its “Tax Pain” campaign, offering a cure for the annual pain in the butt that is tax season.

The English language campaign, developed by the brand’s creative agency of record, One Advertising, includes radio, print, direct marketing, out-of-home and digital ads along with four TV spots: “Doctor on Board”, “Self Diagnosis”, “Gluten-free” and” News Flash.”

“People in the States are afraid of the tax man. Here is Canada, we just sigh when tax season comes around. It’s just a burden,” said Karen Howe, senior vice-president and creative director at One. “We sat through research groups where people said, ‘You know, it’s just a pain in the ass.’ That’s what taxes are to Canadians, and one thing we know about Canadians is they’ve got a lovely sense of humour. They can laugh at themselves.”


“Tax Pain” officially launched with “News Flash,” which aired during the Superbowl on Feb. 2. The ad introduced Canadians to both the campaign and H&R Blocks’ new tax software, being offered to consumers free until March 31.

Currently only “News Flash” and “Doctor on Board” are airing. Two more spots – “Gluten-free” and “Self-Diagnosis” (previewed above)- will be rolled out throughout the tax season, but all other campaign elements went live Monday.


A separate campaign running in Quebec aims to build brand awareness. Original radio, digital and print support has been created for that market, along with two television spots: “Best Friend” and “Best Neighbour.”

“It’s a very different category in Quebec,” Howe said. “There the job was to build familiarly with the brand. For the most part, Quebecois tend to go to their uncle down the street to have their taxes done.”

“Best Friend” will run for four weeks beginning March 10, and “Best Neighbour” launched on Feb. 3 and will run until March 2.

Brands Articles

How Baileys is extending its brand past the holiday season

The brand's plan for spring and summer: ice cream and frozen cocktails

Is your team equipped for change?

Change is an ongoing process that requires an open-mind and open communication

Tim Hortons, Burger King off to a good start, says CEO

Despite missing analyst estimates, company says it built a solid foundation for the future

Abercrombie & Fitch ditches ‘sexualized’ marketing

Retailer tries to distance itself from controversial images started by former CEO

Apply to bring home the bacon

Apply for Canada's best marketing job, Manager Bacon

Pepsi eliminating aspartame from its flagship diet pop

Decision in response to customer feedback

Holt Renfrew expanding its downtown Vancouver store

Retailer ups its game as competition heats up in the luxury goods market

How Apple defines ‘available’ (Column)

Apple Watch pre-orders delayed until June