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.

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