H&R Block sings a happy song

"Mood Swing" aims to show Canadians they don't have to dread tax season, no matter where they are in life.


H&R Block is hoping it can bring some much-needed levity to tax season with “Mood Swing,” an uplifting, musical campaign.

In a new TV spot, people initially view getting their taxes done with trepidation but eventually shift to joy as they realize they have the guidance of H&R Block to help them, all to the tune of “Happy Together.”

The spot will be televised starting next week until early May, along with 15-second versions that focus on specific services like instant cash back, or one airing closer to the filing deadline that focuses on its extended hours. The broader campaign features radio, OOH, online display, pre-roll and social. The media buy was handled internally.

Sandbox, formerly One Advertising, led the new campaign, and has been working with H&R Block since 2004. Jill King, president of Sandbox, says the new campaign refreshes the humorous approach used in past tax season campaigns, such as “Tax Pain,” by including a broader range of people in various life situations, from new parents to students paying off loans to newlyweds.

“One of the triggers for people who do their taxes themselves to seek out third party assistance is some kind of major life change,” King says. “This campaign is reinforcing the fact that whatever that big circumstance is that has consumers uncertain about how it changes their tax situation, H&R Block has the experts to deal with it.”

H&R Block ran “We Don’t Miss A Thing” in 2014, a campaign that also focused on expertise, and King says “Mood Swing” expands that statement to apply to as many different life stages as possible.

“We’ve dipped our toe in that area in the past, but we’re coming back to that idea and leveraging it much more than we have recently,” King says. “It’s defining and explaining the expertise and its benefit to the consumer a little bit more.”

King says using humour has been highly effective in its H&R Block work, and “Mood Swing” looks to show how quickly dread can turn into celebration when it comes to tax season.

“It’s like ‘Taxes: The Musical,’” she says. “Part of it is just bringing a little bit of levity to something many Canadians feel they have to drag themselves through every year, but a lot of Canadians do get a refund, and there’s peace of mind that comes with getting them done early. So there’s reasons for optimism when it comes to taxes.”